VSS 2012 - North American and International Online and Blended Learning: What can Programs Learn from Each Other?

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Clark, T., Barbour, M. K., Bacsich, P., Ebert, J., Powell, A., & Ferdig, R. (2012, October). North American and international online and blended learning: What can programs learn from each other? A panel presentation at the annual Virtual School Symposium, New Orleans, LA.

This panel session takes an international look at key policy and practice issues that need to be addressed in K-12 online and blended education. What can North American educators learn from international programs, which are mainly blended? Conversely, international K-12 educators want to know, what can we learn from North American programs, which are mainly online? The moderators asked chapter authors from around the world to help them respond to these questions through a forthcoming book.

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  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs?
  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs? The study authors identified a number of challenges to online and blended learning, including differing levels of interest among nations, lack of technology access, lack of funding and a lack of vision and leadership at the governmental level. They also documented a wide range of levels of access and activity, ranging from nations like Mozambique that had little going on yet, to nations like China with large-scale public school programs. Another 200,000 students in China were estimated to be enrolled in private online schools.
  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs? This is a “Cliffs Notes” on 5 trends and 4 issues identified Internationally in the 2011 iNACOL survey, compared and contrasted with North American information, from the 2011 Keeping Pace and Canada State of the Nation reports. [Tom to add brief examples/stats from iNACOL survey for Intl. And for N. Am. from K 2011, Canada SOTN 2011]
  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs? Trend 3 –Trend 4 – [tom to add brief examples/stats from iNACOL survey for Intl. And for N. Am. from K 2011, Canada SOTN 2011]
  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs? Issue 1 – Internationally, people think in terms of Information and Communication Technologies or ICTs, which is to say tech integration and blended learning in a North American sense. When countries reported growth, they were mostly referring to blended learning. The idea of fully online learning as a method is not well understood – something that our panelist Paul Bacsich is addressing through the VISCED initiative in the EU. In North America, online learning (OLL) is generally understood as education delivered via the Internet, while the teacher is remote from the student. However, as blended learning grows in North America, some are confused about what it is. Issue 2 – Internationally, there is a problem with lack of equitable access in many countries. Many countries report a widening digital divide, caused by several factors, including lack of electricity, tech infrastructure, and illiteracy – both the ability to read and write, and computer literacy. Well-to-do families can access private online schools and resources. In North America, the digital divide has narrowed. The federal e-Rate program leveled led to Internet access in all U. S. public schools. Access to online learning is affected by budget cuts and regulatory issues. These issues vary from state to state.
  • What are some trends and issues in International and North American Online and Blended Learning Programs? Issue 3Issue 4 [tom to add brief examples/stats from iNACOL survey for Intl. And for N. Am. from K 2011, Canada SOTN 2011]
  • In presenting about online and blended learning practices and policies in their part of the world, panelists were asked to includes some reflections on the question, What are some program practices and policies that appear relevant across states, provinces and nations?Panelists were also asked to think about the question,What can North American and International educators learn from each other? They will mainly address this questionduring the panel dialogue following presentations. We also have some international visitors attending the session today, who may share their thoughts then on these questions.
  • Paul Bacsich slides
  • Michael B slide notes
  • Michael B slide notes
  • Michael B slide notes
  • Michael B slide notes
  • Additional prompts:
  • Finally, let’s take about 10 minutes for dialogue between panelists and audiences.
  • VSS 2012 - North American and International Online and Blended Learning: What can Programs Learn from Each Other?

    1. 1. North American & International Online & Blended Learning What Can Programs Learn from Each Other? Virtual School Symposium 201210/22/2012 1
    2. 2. Agenda • Introductions • Join Us Online • Overview • Panelist Presentations • Interactive Panel Dialogue • Interactive Q & A10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 2
    3. 3. Introductions • Moderators • Tom Clark, TA Consulting • Michael Barbour, Wayne State University (via Skype) • Panelists • Paul Bacsich, Sero Consulting • Jhone Ebert, Clark County School District • Recuperating (here in spirit) • Rick Ferdig, Wayne State University10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 3
    4. 4. Visit our Panel’s Online Page Respond to VSS email re “Virtual School Symposium 2012 Community” If already active, sign in at: http://vss2012.inacol.pathable.com • Click on Schedule –>Monday Oct 22-> 10:00 AM -> “and 7 more” -> “What can North American and International…” • Start a conversation, or add to one10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 4
    5. 5. Overview • What are some similarities and differences in online and blended learning programs in North America and other areas of the world?10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 5
    6. 6. 2011 iNACOL Study • 54 nations responded to 2011 survey by iNACOL /Atlas Economic Research Foundation • 65% of responding nations said that online learning (OLL) or blended learning (BL) opportunities were available to at least some students10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 6
    7. 7. 2011 iNACOL Study • Challenges identified include sporadic interest in OLL, and a general lack of tech access, funding and governmental vision & leadership • Wide variety of levels of activity/access • Mozambique: 1% have Internet access; 12% have electricity; 50% illiterate. Little OLL/BL. • China: 200+ online public schools enroll 600,000 + students10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 7
    8. 8. International Trends/Issues (vs N. Am.) • Trend 1: Blended & online choices most avail. to students in urban areas of developed countries • Intl: Less than half indicated availability to students in rural or suburban settings or small schools. • N Am: Online choices are available in all areas - rural, urban, suburban; blended ops in a variety of school districts • Trend 2: Growth in digital learning stems from shared authority between local schools & national govts • Intl: Schools in many countries have a high level of autonomy in developing & promoting OLL/BL. Less than 25% had national quality standards for online • N. Am: School authority primarily by state/province, with districts deciding about participation; growth varies widely across states/provinces.10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 8
    9. 9. International Trends/Issues (vs N. Am.) • Trend 3: Specialized teacher training is not required, but is encouraged and available • Intl: When countries fund OLL/BL, few require specific license/credential (11%) or training (25%). 72% reporting OLL/BL reported PD was available for teachers • N. Am: Six U. S. states (12%) offered voluntary credential in 2011; WI, NC require PD. PD generally is available. • Trend 4: Blended learning is occurring with much greater frequency than online learning • Intl: Most use of eLearning tools supports in-class activities. Little learning exclusively online. Mostly BL. • N.Am: Program growth is mainly in district-led programs, which are often OLL/BL. • Trend 5: Online learning mainly for special or extenuating circumstances (not so much in N. Am)10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 9
    10. 10. International Trends/Issues (vs N. Am.) • Issue 1: No clearly defined international understanding of online learning • Intl: OLL is thought to mean any integration of ICTs. Growth reported as OLL was mainly in BL. Challenge - Lack of knowledge of OLL as a method. • N. Am: Online learning (OLL) is understood as education via Internet where teacher is remote from student. • Issue 2: The lack of equitable access to the Internet, technology tools, and resources for online learning • Intl: Many countries report a widening digital divide. Lack of electricity, tech infrastructure, and illiteracy prevent access. • N. Am: Digital divide is less. Budget cuts/regulatory issues restrict access, access issues vary by state/province.10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 10
    11. 11. International Trends/Issues (vs N. Am.) • Issue 3: A lack of government funding or policies to promote online learning vs. traditional schools • Intl: Funding limited. Most initiatives focus on tech integration, not OLL. Sporadic interest in OLL. • N. Am: More funding, but varies by state/province. Decreased federal funding. Policies vary widely. • Issue 4: The need to focus on teacher training and teacher roles • Intl: lack of focus on teacher training; limited training on new teacher roles in OLL/BL. • N.Am: Some focus on OLL/BL teacher training and new roles in many states/provinces.10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 11
    12. 12. Panelist Presentations • Presentations about OLL/BL practice and policy in their part of the world • Special Questions of Interest: • What are some program practices and policies that appear relevant across states, provinces and nations? • What can North American and International educators learn from each other?10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 12
    13. 13. Paul Bacsich, VISCED project EUROPE – IS DIFFERENT!10/22/2012 13
    14. 14. Europe • Funded under EU LLP KA3 ICT • Circa US$0.5m funding • January 2011 to December 2012 • Sero is project manager & scientific lead • Leverages on Re.ViCa (on virtual unis) • Leads to POERUP (on OER)10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 14
    15. 15. Europe – the numbers • Europe in our sense includes not only the EU but the countries in geographic Europe including all Russia and Turkey, and Caucasus • Around 70 virtual schools identified • Likely to be over 100 • However, most countries have only one or two • Main exceptions are UK, Spain, Finland and Sweden10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 15
    16. 16. Europe: Key differences 1-4 1. Most activity is blended – ministries thought (or hoped) that there were no virtual schools (any more) 2. Virtual schools are mainly small (few hundred) 3. Much larger focus on expatriates and disadvantaged/ill (homeschooling is often illegal) 4. Virtual schools are less regulated10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 16
    17. 17. Europe: Key differences 5-9 5. Systems are more “classroom” in focus – not nec. “synchronous” 6. Often can draw on minimal linguistic resources ( < 3m often) 7. Virtual schools are more entrepreneurial, even state ones 8. Virtual schools for adult credit recovery is a big driver, in some countries (UK, Spain, some Nordic) 9. More(?) interpenetration of virtual schools and virtual colleges (UK…)10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 17
    18. 18. Europe: Policy constraints • Some European countries are federal (UK, Germany, Spain) • Some (UK) even have zero pan-country ministry role (cf Canada) • “Rights of the Child” issue inhibits homeschooling – thus(?) virtual schooling • Focus on nation-building/socialisation • Most ministries not interested: “we thought they had gone”10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 18
    19. 19. Finesse: at EU level Virtual schools are key to various EU initiatives: • STEM and other shortage subjects • Travelling and other excluded communities • Broadband uptake and open education But issues with: • No EU right to acceptable level and choice of education EU-wide (islands…) • No Bologna for schools credit transfer10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 19
    20. 20. Supporting the 21st Century LearnerJhone EbertChief Technology OfficerClark County School District
    21. 21. Clark County School DistrictThe District employs 37,115 employees 2012-2013 General fundincluding full-time, part-time, substitute, and operating budgettemporary employees $2.062 billion2012-2013 enrollment Student Population 1.50% 0.50%311,429 students Hispanic/Latino 6.00% Caucasian 6.60% CCSD is the357 schools Black/African American 5th• 217 Elementary schools Largest 12.00% 44.00%• 59 Middle schools Asian School• 49 High schools Multiracial District in• 24 Alternative schools the Nation. 29.40%• 8 Special schools Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Native American
    22. 22. Challenges Too few islands of excellence Achievement gaps are too great Reserved expectations of excellenceStrategies Embrace transparency Welcome criticism Partner with critical friends
    23. 23. Focus for Action Harness breakthrough innovation and redefine how schooling is accomplished. Fully tap the potential of a new model of schooling. Align resources to our highest priorities and execute with precision. Continue to do what works and stop doing what does not.
    24. 24. CCSD Technology105,000 computers supported with an All schools and sites areaverage child to one computer ration of 4.9. interconnected via a 2.5 Gb/s internet service.Over 150 million email messagesare delivered each year; spam filterscaught 300 million spam messages last Over 19,000 data switchesyear. Approximately 120,0006,000 business process jobs data portsare processed monthly.There are over 33,000 telephones Over 12,400 Wi-Fion the CCSD telephone network, with access points areover 69,000,000 calls processed installed in CCSD schools.per year.
    25. 25. Nevada LegislationFlexible Credit Legislation Credit by Exam NRS 389.171 Distance/Alternative Ed: Alternative Scheduling NAC 387.193 & NAC 387.195 Credit for Community Service NRS 388.165Other Flexible Legislation Academic Plan Requirements NRS 388.165 & NRS 388.205
    26. 26. Nevada Virtual Schools Nevada Dept. of Ed.approves all online programs20 approved programs 13 District Online Programs 7 Online Charter Schools
    27. 27. CCSD Virtual HS http://ccsdde.net 2004 first graduation Full catalog of courses 172 Full-time currently 12,000+ enrollments in 2011-12 State-wide 350 non-CCSD students in 2011-12
    28. 28. Blended & Online Learning in CCSD 100,00 students blended/online by 2015 Shiftingthe K-12 learning environment from the present arrangement to one that is instead almost entirely composed of blended or full-time virtual learning
    29. 29. Teacher Certification ProgramTier Approach http://pde.ccsd.net  Tier I – Foundation Philosophy and Pedagogy  Tier II – Emphasis Tools and practicesSpring 2012  5 courses  State-wide  700 + credits issuedFall 2012  9 courses  300+ enrollees
    30. 30. Lessons Learned Authoring verse Buying Curriculum costs and alignment LearningManagement System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS) systems integration Teacher Training pedagogy and tools Technology Infrastructure
    31. 31. Our Charge “All our efforts have one purpose. It is to ensure all students are ready by exit.” ― Superintendent Dwight D. Jones
    32. 32. Virtual Learning Network VLN Primary Te Kura Several tertiarys10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 32
    33. 33. Common Obstacles • Funding and resources • Lack of vision • Lack of consistency between clusters • Lack of co-operation • inter-cluster • intra-cluster10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 33
    34. 34. Pockets of Innovation • Changing teacher practice • Opening classrooms • Mentor teacher • Considering student learning space10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 34
    35. 35. 10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 35
    36. 36. Interactive Dialogue • What can North American and International educators learn from each other?10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 36
    37. 37. Q& A • What questions do you have for our panelists? • What policies or practices would you like to share? • What are you interested in learning about International & North American programs?10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 37
    38. 38. Thank You! Moderators Moderators Tom Clark tom@taconsulting.net Michael Barbour (Skype) mkbarbour@gmail.com Panelists Allison Powell[ Paul Bacsich paul.bacsich@sero.co.uk Jhone Ebert jhone@interact.ccsd.net10/22/2012 North American & International Programs 38

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