National Standards for Quality Online Courses -- from iNACOL -- Version 2 from October 2011


The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. National Standards for Quality Online Courses is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online course content, instructional design, technology, student assessment, and course management.

Getting at-risk teens to graduation — from by June Kronholz
Blended learning offers a second chance


People who deal with at-risk teenagers say dropping out is not an event; it’s a process. Youngsters miss school and get “backed up” in class, so they miss more school because they’re bewildered or embarrassed, and fall further behind. Seeing few ways to recover, “they just silently drop out,” said Richard Firth, who showed me around the Hampton school and two others in Richmond that are using online learning to derail the cycle.

Finding the right learning mix — from Chief Learning Officer by Lance Dublin
Learning organizations are experiencing a kind of renaissance, with new technology prompting new thinking about how to enhance, extend and enable learning.

Some items re: Blackboard’s announcement of their Collaborate product:



Blended learning -- infographic from

The New 3 E's of Education: Enabled; Empowered; Engaged -- May 2011 from Project Tomorrow


Excerpt from introduction (emphasis DSC):

Three factors are driving this new interest and enthusiasm for digital learning by educators. First, teachers and administrators are increasingly become technology-enabled themselves, using emerging technologies such as mobile devices, online classes and digital content to improve their own productivity. This development of a personal value proposition with the technology is propelling educators to think creatively about how to leverage these same tools in the classroom. Second, students and increasingly parents are demanding a different kind of learning experience and that is forcing even the most reluctant teachers and administrators to re-evaluate their perspectives about the value of technology within learning. As noted in prior Speak Up national reports, students have a very clear vision for 21st century learning. Their preference is for learning environments that are socially-based, un-tethered and digitally rich. Parents are also supportive of this new learning paradigm and as we noted in our first Speak Up 2010 report (released in April 2011) the emergence of a new trend of parental digital choice is an indication of this unprecedented support level. And schools and districts are waking up to this new trend. Concerns about parents’ capability to, for example, enroll their children in non-district provided online classes are compelling many districts to start virtual schools themselves. The third factor, the economy, and its resulting financial pressures on school and district budgets, has created a sense of urgency to more fully investigate how technologies can help educators meet their instructional goals with less expense.

All three factors converging at the same time has opened up a new window of possibilities for achieving the promise of technology to transform education. Evidence of this shift in perspective and vision by educators is noted in some comparative Speak Up findings over the past few years.

This report is the second in a two-part series to document the key national findings from Speak Up 2010.

In this companion report, “The New 3E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered – How Today’s Educators are Advancing a New Vision for Teaching and Learning,” we explore how teachers, principals, district administrators, librarians and technology coordinators are addressing the student vision for learning around three key trends. These trends have generated significant interest in the past year at conferences, in policy discussions and within our schools and districts: mobile learning, online and blended learning and digital content.

While each of these trends includes the essential components of the student vision of socially-based, un-tethered and digitally-rich learning, they also provide a unique backdrop for investigating the role of educators to engage, enable and empower students through the use of these emerging technologies.
• Role of Librarians and Technology Coordinators: To enable student use of the emerging technologies through their planning, support and recommendation responsibilities.
• Role of Classroom Teachers: To engage students in rich, compelling learning experiences through the effective use of these technologies in the classroom.
• Role of School and District Administrators: To empower both teachers and students to creatively envision the future of digital learning, and to provide opportunities for exploring the elements of a new shared vision for learning.


Online learning begins to explode into mainstream in blended schools — from Disupting Class posted by Michael Horn

This week, Innosight Institute, where I am the executive director of the education practice, released a landmark report, titled The rise of K-12 blended learning: Profiles of Emerging Models, which profiles 40 different operators leading the rise of K-12 blended learning.

Across America a skyrocketing number of K-12 students are getting their education in blended-learning environments. Over 4 million K-12 students took at least one online course in 2010, according to Ambient Insight, and this space is growing now by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 43 percent—much faster than the growth of charter schooling or other K-12 education reforms, for example. And the majority of this growth is occurring in different types of “blended learning.”

Also see:


The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning -- May 2011


A question of balance — by Clive Sheperd

The issue, as ever, is getting the balance right between taking advantage of new developments as they come available, while continuing to exploit the potential of long-standing approaches.










10 reports on the near future of learning — from by Tom Vander Ark

Tagged with:  

From DSC:
In my mind, this area of intelligent systems and agents is one of the most important areas to watch in the years ahead.  Such efforts should help us develop sophisticated systems that can help deliver personalized, customized education at the K-12 and higher ed levels…and perhaps will be relevant in the L&D space as well.

The innovations that come from this area may make hybrid-based — as well as  100% online-based learning — incredibly powerful!

If someone can develop such systems and make them available at far cheaper prices than exist today, a quality “Walmart of Education” will truly have been built.

 IADIS International Conference: Intelligent Systems and Agents - in Rome, July 24-26, 2011


Per the Call for Papers section, the topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:


Area 1 – Intelligent Systems  

– Algorithms

– Artificial Intelligence

– Automation Systems and Control

– Bioinformatics

– Computational Intelligence

– Expert Systems

– Fuzzy Technologies and Systems

– Game and Decision Theories

– Intelligent Control Systems

– Intelligent Internet Systems

– Intelligent Software Systems

– Intelligent Systems

– Machine Learning

– Neural Networks

– Neurocomputers

– Optimization

– Parallel Computation

– Pattern Recognition

– Robotics and Autonomous Robots

– Signal Processing

– Systems Modelling

– Web Mining





Area 2 – Agents  

– Adaptive Agent Systems

– Agent Applications

– Agent Communication

– Agent Development

– Agent middleware

– Agent Models and Architectures

– Agent Ontologies

– Agent Oriented Systems and Engineering

– Agent Programming, Languages and Environments

– Agent Systems

– Agent Technologies

– Agent Theories

– Agent Trends

– Agents Analysis and Design

– Agents and Learning

– Agents and Ubiquitous Computing

– Agents in Networks

– Agents Protocols and Standards

– Artificial Systems

– Computational Complexity

– eCommerce and Agents

– Embodied Agents

– Mobile Agents

– Multi-Agent Systems

– Negotiation Strategies

– Performance Issues

– Security, Privacy and Trust

– Semantic Grids

– Simulation

– Web Agents



The Teaching Professor Conference -- May 20-22, 2011

.Some of the sessions being offered include:

  • Innovative Assessment Techniques
  • Teaching the Nontraditional Adult Learner
  • Designing Educational Experiences that Promote Deep Learning
  • Developing an Academic Honesty Program that Works
  • Modeling Writing for Developmental Learners
  • Computers in the Classroom: Evidence of Student Engagement (Not Distraction)
  • Fostering Student Engagement in Online Learning Environments
  • Integrating Emerging Technology in the Classroom and Beyond
  • Setting Up Your Hybrid Course for Success
  • Engaging Millennial Students in the Basic Course
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