Response, Reflection and Round Tables

Directions for Roundtable Session Participants
  • Please select a moderator to lead the discussion around these questions.
  • Also select a secretary, someone to post your table’s ideas to the conference wiki.

Discussion Questions for Input into U.S. Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan

1. What are the most significant barriers to expanding the role of online learning for students?
  • Please list specific policy barriers, attitudinal issues, differences across educational levels, or other major barriers that you have experienced.

Changing the adult mindset to "this can work", "this can happen"
Teacher Union indifference and/or resistence.
Misunderstanding of what online learning is. Dealing with misconceptions and myths of online learning.
Homeschooling has a negative connotation and at times no accountability....some think the same of online learning but when students transfer into online learning there is accountability.
Parents are worried about the social benefits of going to a site based school and the custodial benefit of onsite schooling. Will they lose this in online learning?
Education is pretty prescriptive and restrictive in choices in K-12 and when they hit college, there is more liberty and students must take responsibility for their own learning.
Concerns about age appropriateness about online learning for younger children
Concerns about sufficient support for at-risk students.
Not seeing the value of students as producers and/or peer educators in K-12. Still top down from teacher to student...pushing out content.
Developing aps that address special needs or supports that certain students need.
Difference in generational concepts of what is the best way to learning...therefore kindergarten students would think online learning is the norm.
Kids now are even more social online but we still fret about their social development.
Grade levels prevent students from moving forward at their own pace -schools "don't know what to do with kids" who complete early.
Required seat time and traditional school calendars
Lack of pre-service training for online instruction.
Teacher Training at Universities do no include online curriculum.
Older school district leaders are not in touch with technology.
Teacher Unions need to be on board.
Lack of professional development for educators in online learning.

2. What are recommendations for federal government to support the field and continue innovation?
  • Please identify areas for federal government to update policies and invest in research.

Concerns about federal policy that gets entrenched and outdated by the time they get approved. Let's not allow online learning get stuck like NCLB
Wireless and broadband for everyone
One to one computing for all K-20 students.
Better continuity between K-12 and college
Better access and leave the rest alone.
Will federal policy be written for the corporate schools?
State level funding issues and school based funding
Invest in access technologies like wireless webs.
Opportunities to bring internet devices to all regardless of income.
Write "online learning" into education legislation.
All components of grants in technology to require sups and asst sups to receive training and learning on VS and online blended learning to break barriers.
How do we adopt common standards without destroying the spirit of creativity.

3. What are the biggest opportunities for growth of K-12 online learning and virtual schools?

Potential for eLearning games. With the growth of online learning, it is ripe for elearning games
When learning is fun, learning is best.
Tapping into the motivation "I want to get to the next level" that is embedded in electronic games
Collaboration - students working in teams for a purpose and teaching them how to do this. Engaging in games in a collaborative and competitive (fun) environment.
Credit recovery.
*Blended learning?

Defining what it is not. Making sure that it is a shift in delivery and increases productivity as a goal.

*K-20 models?

Motivating all students by creating a gateway to higher education through supported student outcomes. For example, giving high risk students an entrance into college if they stay on track through blended learning, student centered models that emphasizes success.
Utliizing NROC courses in a way that lets students move on at their pace rather than keeping them behind to get the high school diploma
Making sure that high school education focuses on preparing students for college and careers. Emphasize 21st century skills.
Students should be granted college entrance at any grade (not just at graduation) for an agreement to stay on track with acheivement and enrollment on college preparatory courses.
Minnesota Learning Commons -
States requiring all students to have at least one online credit for gradutation

*Please provide specific examples and existing work to provide context. Please point out similar issues or differences in issues across different models (such as funding, policies, quality issues, college readiness, remediation, dual enrollment, etc.).

-FLVS partnering with Universities to provide pre-service internship experiences
-Health Opportunities Through Physical Education (HOPE) course offered online in FL as an option for PE
-3DT, or 3-part Diagnostic Tool, is an online assessment created by Florida Virtual School to help virtual teachers learn more about how students learn, what students think about reading, and how strong or weak a student is with reading comprehension. It determines students’ strengths in 3 areas: learning style; reading interest; and reading comprehension.
-During these tough economic times, schools are searching for ways to save money, and still provide quality programs for their students. In the elementary schools, one of the first programs slated for elimination is physical education. Florida Virtual School, answering a call from school districts across the state, began the development of a blended model of online Elementary Physical Education.This program, blending academics and deliberate movement with a purpose, provides the flexibility for brick-and-mortar schools and home-schooled students to use in a number of ways.

4. Also, the FCC is developing a National Broadband Plan. What are the top 3 issues related to broadband and online learning that need to be addressed?

Internet access for all at no or low cost.
Speed of internet
Embedding online /web-based content in courses and requiring that there is access for all K-20 students.
How to provide all students in need with a laptop
Expanded broadband for rural areas
Availability/funding for city wide wifi
Broadband access without computers...districts can not afford the technology once the access is in place.

iNACOL Advocacy Committee 2009

Reward states that ensure the full spectrum of online learning opportunities for students, including both full-time and supplemental
Make removal of online learning enrollment caps and restrictions a condition and requirement for states to receive grants from US ED Office of Innovation and Improvement
Promote a common core of national standards that are internationally benchmarked
Express Congress’s support for the work of Council of Chief School Officers and NGA in this effort; direct US ED to invest OII and other grant dollars in supporting move to national standards; integrate into NCLB reauthorization
Provide incentives for portability of credits among institutions and across state lines
Direct Department of Education to focus a portion of OII and other grant dollars on district/state models of portability
Encourage shift by states toward adopting digital curriculum
Express Congress’s support for moves by Texas, California and others toward adoption of digital curriculum; direct US ED to invest OII and other grant dollars in helping other states move in this direction
Assist states/districts in moving away from funding based on seat-time toward mastery learning
Integrate mastery concept into Title I requirements and NCLB Reauthorization
Support pre-service/in-service training for teachers in how to teach online
Specify that ESEA Title IIA and IID funds include training all teachers to teach online; Higher Education Act
Point to online learning for data systems that use real-time data to drive instruction and accountability
Ensure that Race to the Top and other ARRA efforts for data systems reference models from online learning and virtual schools
Finish the job of ensuring ubiquitous access to the Internet
Renew Congressional attention to the E-Rate with 21st century focus on broadband for online learning and virtual schools eligibility; showcase Department of Commerce ARRA/BTOP efforts involving education