School budget cuts fueling virtual high school growth from (originally saw this at Ray Schroeder’s blog)
Faced with budget cuts that have forced the cancellation of low enrollment AP and enrichment classes, schools in 10 states have started their students with VHS online courses this semester.

Mar 21, 2011 – Maynard, MA – Virtual High School Global Consortium (, the pioneer of K-12 online learning and course design for teachers, today announced the addition of 17 new member schools in 10 states this semester, bringing their total membership to 770 member schools worldwide. Many of these schools are using Virtual High School (VHS) to provide their students with access to courses affected by budget cuts.

Virtual High School Global Consortium Logo

Virtual education boom hits the states — from Sacramento Bee by David Harrison


All but two states now offer online courses to at least some students. In most cases, online courses are blended with in-school courses. But 27 states allow students to attend virtual schools full time. Online courses allow students to work at their own pace, with advanced students moving through the curriculum quickly while others might get more of the attention they need from teachers.

Wise and other education leaders say that without more virtual schooling, it won’t be possible to meet President Barack Obama’s goal of producing a large majority of high school graduates ready for college or the work force. At the same time, now that 40 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to common math and English standards, online courses would be more easily transferable from state to state.

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The Connected Life at Home — from Cisco

The connected life at home -- from Cisco



From DSC:

How will these types of technologies affect what we can do with K-12 education/higher education/workplace training and development? I’d say they will open up a world of new applications and opportunities for those who are ready to innovate; and these types of technologies will move the “Forthcoming Walmart of Education” along.

Above item from:

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Millions of TV’s (as completely converged/Internet-connected devices) = millions of learners?!?

From DSC:

The other day, I created/posted the top graphic below. Take the concepts below — hook them up to engines that use cloud-based learner profiles — and you have some serious potential for powerful, global, ubiquitous learning! A touch-sensitive panel might be interesting here as well.

Come to think of it, add social networking, videoconferencing, and web-based collaboration tools — the power to learn would be quite impressive.  Multimedia to the nth degree.

Then add to that online marketplaces for teaching and learning — where you can be both a teacher and a learner at the same time — hmmm…



From DSC:
Then today, I saw Cisco’s piece on their Videoscape product line! Check it out!







The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T


From DSC:
If you doubt that…read on…

The New Normal: Universities Sponsoring Online High Schools — from

K12 announced today that they are partnering with George Washington University to launch The George Washington University Online High School. This private high school will serve students from the US and countries around the world January 2011.

Students are constantly trying to find options that will set them apart from others and participating in this rigorous college preparatory program could be the key. In addition to the curriculum, students who attend an online high school connected to a University such as GWUOHS will have college counseling, personalized learning tools, test preparation, even guidance through the scholarship process.

GWU is not the only university sponsoring online high schools. Stanford has the EPGY Online High School. University of Missouri High School and The University of Oklahoma offer year-round and dual enrollment courses. Whether public or private schools, the possibilities are endless for students. Training for sports, starting a business, volunteering, working in the arts,  all can become easier by signing in to your online courses from the nearest computer.

Through major universities in partnership with online providers, students are reaping the benefits of university resources online high schools. It is interesting that we do not see this type of partnership more often.

MIT tries new approach for some OpenCourseWare (OCW) — from The Chronicle by Jeff Young

New MIT OpenCourseWare Initiative Aims to Improve Independent Online Learning — from the NYT by Aurey Watters of ReadWriteWeb

MIT OpenCourseWare is launching five new courses today that mark a new model for one of the world’s premier open educational resources. These OCW Scholar courses are designed for use by independent learners, and like the other material made available through MIT OCW, are freely available for anyone to pursue. These aren’t distance learning classes – there is no instructor, no contact with MIT, no credit. But the courses are meant to be stand-alone offerings, not requiring any additional materials for learning.

Technology Empowering Online Learning at Post-Secondary Level — from TMCNet by Beecher Tuttle

Times have changed, however. With lower budgets, limited physical space and new insight into the effectiveness of online learning, a myriad of highly regarded public and private colleges and universities have begun transitioning their curriculum to a digital world. In fact, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the most well thought-of state institutions on the East Coast, recently announced its plans to offer its prestigious MBA program completely online. The business school’s dean told Mashable that the university made the move because it did not see online learning as a lesser form of education, if delivered properly.

Quick aside from DSC:

Re: that last sentence…please…let’s stop asking the question if online learning is as good as face-to-face learning. That question has been answered time and again.

The question now is, how will face-to-face learning begin to keep up and measure up to online learning as online learning begins to hit its real stride? We haven’t seen anything yet; and at this point, innovation is happening at much faster speeds in the online world. Those professors, teachers, and trainers used to working solely in the face-to-face teaching and learning environments better really start asking themselves how they will innovate, and how they will respond to the K-12 students (and employees) that are  changing right in front of our eyes!

New Web Venture Offers ‘Syndicated Courses’ — from The Chronicle by  Tusher Rae

Omnicademy, a for-profit institution conceived at Louisiana State University, hopes to allow professors to syndicate their courses this fall.

The company’s system will let professors upload material from courses they’re already teaching and offer the courses to students at other colleges through the Omnicademy site, said the company’s founder, Stacey Simmons, associate director for economic development at Louisiana’s Center for Computation and Technology.

Universities can review the courses and decide which ones they want to adopt and offer credit for. When students log into Omnicademy—using a .edu e-mail address—they will only be allowed to select from courses that have been approved by their institution.

If a student wishes to take a course offered through Omnicademy that is not on the list approved by his or her university, Omnicademy will negotiate on behalf of that student with the university, Ms. Simmons added.

2020 Vision — from neXtedu

The MEGATRENDS I see changing the Education Industry are:

1) The Knowledge Economy:
Prediction:  By 2020, Assessment becomes the currency for the Knowledge Economy, not where you went to school.  In other words, opportunity will truly be driven by what you know, not by where your degree is from.

2) Globalization:
Prediction: By 2020, there will be Global Schools like Avenues and Mosaica in the primary and secondary market and an acceleration of Global Universities will be driven by online offerings.  Moreover, study abroad will become a standard part of a college education (up from 1% of the students currently) and will even be an important feature for top-tier private K-12 schools.

3) The Internet: …Web 2.0 is truly about “democratizing” education, not only increasing access and lowering cost but also improving quality.
Prediction: By 2020, all college students will have a “blended” or “hybrid” learning experience, as will nearly all high school students.  Virtual School operators such as K12, Connections Academy and Florida Virtual have millions of students and Arizona State University Online becomes the largest University in the World.  The information that is made readily available by new media education sites such as Center for Education Reform’s “Media Bullpen” and the Education Breakthrough Network create a “dismantling of the Berlin Wall” moment for school choice, with a flood of opportunities coming to parents and students throughout the United States.

4) Outsourcing:
Prediction: By 2020, students in Charter Schools will have more than tripled from 3% to 10% of America’s student body, and it will become standard to integrate specialists, from foreign languages to mathematics, into the “traditional” school. Teach for America becomes a “for profit” as does KIPP, eliminating the ongoing need to raise tens of millions of dollars every year and instead utilize investor capital to sustain and grow their businesses.  I predict over 25% of Universities will have partnerships with outsourced providers to manage their online offering.  Several states will decide to “privatize” their public university system.

5) Consolidation:
Prediction: By 2020, the trend of less power and money from local coupled with a rationalization of the market will see many districts consolidate under either regional or state governance.   As many as 1/3 of the private colleges and universities will either “merge” with other universities or go away.

6) Demographics:
Prediction: By 2020, Education is the #1 national issue driven by minorities understanding that equal access to education is key to their future — and zip code shouldn’t determine a student’s earnings power.  Early stage childcare becomes much more of a national priority with leaders such as Bright Horizons being the model for how corporations and parents work together to provide the early learning needed to be “school ready”.  Gaming will be a standard component of core curriculum and supplementary learning with companies like Dreambox, Tabula Digita , Knewton and Grockit creating powerful adaptive platforms.

7) Network Effects:
Prediction:  By 2020, large learning networks are created in K12, Higher Ed and the Corporate Marketplace driven by gigantic network effects.  Platforms that support “apps” such as digital content, assessment, and social collaboration are supported by three or four large players.

8)  Freemium:
Prediction:  By 2020 some of the largest education companies will be “freemium” models with revenues driven by premium services, sponsorships and ads.  In a world where “assessment is the currency” for opportunity, freemium models that deliver high value knowledge at no cost or a fraction of the cost (like Academic Earth) will be very disruptive to high cost providers.

9) Open:
Prediction:  By 2020, most colleges and universities have abandoned their captive LMS and have adopted open solutions, and service providers such as RSmart and Moodle Rooms are thriving.

10) Brands:
Prediction:  By 2020, institutions with substantial brand equity will have multiple partners to leverage into cash to supplement endowments and flattish tuitions.  As with case studies from other sectors that have created network effects with freemium models, GLOBAL MEGABRANDS will be created with a number of education companies obtaining $10 billion plus market caps.

Arizona State University’s Education Innovation Network

The Education Innovation Network is an open innovation platform where entrepreneurs can find the resources to validate concepts, accelerate growth and reach transformative scale.

From DSC:
Again…do you hear the waves of change crashing on our shores? Do you sense the increased speeds of the “cars on the racetrack”?

Online learning in 2011 — from by Julie Marciel-Rozzi

From DSC:
Excerpts that caught my eye:

2010 saw the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) become the second largest in the country, second only to Florida’s Virtual Public School program. Many North Carolina school districts are finding it more economical and efficient to pay the NCVPS rate of $600/per student per class rather than hiring teachers for courses that fall outside the standard curriculum but remain crucial to providing NC students with a quality, well-rounded education.

NCVPS will continue to grow in 2011 as NC school districts deal with a new round of budget cuts, and a increasingly diverse and demanding student population that expects all schools to offer high quality courses in a variety of subjects.

Educational applications for smartphones like the BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone (and associated products) will continue to grow in number and variety. Look for more foreign language apps, more apps aimed at all ages (especially younger users), and more apps aimed at learning specific skills “in time”. Learning available when you need it.

Virtual classrooms: Online education is changing school hours, buildings, interactions — from / The Grand Rapids Press by Dave Murray

Online education gathered steam in the past decade. But in the next 10 years, experts predict, it will have a profound influence on every aspect of education.

The size and shape of buildings. The hours they operate. The types of interaction students have with teachers and classmates — whether across the room or across the state.

“We’re finally reaching the tipping point,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president of Michigan Virtual University, which provides online courses to students in 400 districts, including in West Michigan. “Right now, we’re just scratching the surface. We will soon be able to transform every child’s education.”

About a quarter of all students will be enrolled in Internet-based classes within five years, and at least half of all high school classes will be offered through computers before the next decade ends, national experts predict.

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Futurist Conference 2011 > Learning and Education
So This is School?
Brian Collins, Florida Virtual School, Orlando, Florida

As educational opportunities move from the traditional classroom to cyberspace and beyond, the very paradigm of how students are engaged is being redefined. Mobile devices? Location based technologies? Gaming? Holograms? Artificial intelligence? All of these things, and more, are converging to provide unparalled experiences for today’s learners. The most innovative schools are exploring bold steps to redefine where and how educational content is being delivered. This, combined with an understanding of where technology and society is heading, with a little imagination thrown in, will provide profound changes in the educational landscape and surely captivate students as we move into the future!

Also see:

Future SCANN: A Network to Help Students Envision and Co-Design Careers of the Future

Report on education technology investments — from Education Stormfront

Student advancement will be determined by mastery of subject, not the time spent in class. Through real time and ongoing assessment, the ability to do on-the-fly prescription and “one-on-one” instruction is made possible. “Adaptive Technology” which is used with overwhelming success at companies like Amazon and Netflix, is being incorporated in learning technology that is getting smarter and more personalized with each click. Dreambox Learning is a window to the future showing remarkable results with kids playing math games and learning at an incredibly fast rate. Agilix/Brain Honey is in part a next generation learning management system (LMS) and in part a next generation learning platform that has great traction.

An exceprt from the report at:!_files/neXtup%2012.5.10.pdf

The “quiet” growth has been impressive. Currently there are 1.5 million K-12 students online with either a virtual class or blended mode, up from zero students 10 years ago. 38 States have virtual Charter School laws and Alaska has a statewide online program. “Innovator Dilemma” guru Clayton Christensen estimates that 50% of all K-12 classes will be online by 2019.

Advanced Placement Exam Pass Rates -- virtual schools are kicking tail

From DSC:
Thanks crudbasher for publishing this posting. What I found interesting was the amount being invested in the Kno tablet — $46 million. Wow. Change is around the corner…again.

Hopes and challenges of virtual education: 5 questions with Julie Young — from The Journal by Natasha Wanchek

Florida Virtual School’s Julie Young: “… [A]s leaders in education, we need to create educational experiences that mirror life beyond the schoolhouse.”

Julie Young began focusing on technology initiatives as a classroom teacher and elementary school administrator, but she found her direction in 1995 when she joined a team to explore the concept of online learning. That project aimed to provide high-quality courses to students in rural and high-minority districts. Two years later, Young continued this path when she founded Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the country’s first state-wide, Internet-based public high school.

Now president and CEO of FLVS, Young said her interest in virtual education started at a time when her family was just starting out and she was considering how technology advancements were changing the world.

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[iNACOL] Lessons learned from virtual schools: Experiences & recommendations from the field

GLENDALE, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) announced the release of its first published book: Lessons Learned from Virtual Schools: Experiences and Recommendations from the Field at the annual Virtual School Symposium (VSS) today. The book was edited by Cathy Cavanaugh and Rick Ferdig.

According to Ferdig, “K-12 Virtual Schools are an important part of our 21st century educational system. This book captures the successes and lessons of leaders from some of the most experienced state-led and consortium-based virtual schools in the nation. Readers will get advice and strategies on everything from teacher professional development to data management.”

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From DSC:
Below are some notes and reflections after reading Visions 2020.2:  Student Views on Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies — by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Education, and NetDay

Basic Themes

  • Digital Devices
  • Access to Computers and the Internet
  • Intelligent Tutor/Helper
  • Ways to Learn and Complete School Work Using Technology

Several recurring words jumped off the page at me, including:

  • Voice activation
  • A rugged, mobile, lightweight, all-convergent communications and entertainment device
  • Online classes
  • Interactive textbooks
  • Educational games
  • 3D virtual history enactments — take me there / time machine
  • Intelligent tutors
  • Wireless
  • 24x7x365 access
  • Easy to use
  • Digital platforms for collaborating and working with others on schoolwork/homework
  • Personalized, optimized learning for each student
  • Immersive environments
  • Augmented reality
  • Interactive
  • Multimedia
  • Virtual
  • Simulations
  • Digital diagnostics (i.e. analytics)
  • Wireless videoconferencing

Here are some quotes:

Math and reading were often cited specifically as subjects that might benefit from the use of learning technologies. (p. 5)

No concept drew greater interest from the student responders than some sort of an intelligent tutor/helper. Math was the most often mentioned subject for which tutoring help was needed. Many students desired such a tutor or helper for use in school and at home. (p. 17)

…tools, tutors, and other specialists to make it possible to continuously adjust the pace, nature and style of the learning process. (p.27)

So many automated processes have been built in for them: inquiry style, learning style, personalized activity selection, multimedia preferences, physical requirements, and favorite hardware devices. If the student is in research mode, natural dialogue inquiry and social filtering tools configure a working environment for asking questions and validating hypotheses. If students like rich multimedia and are working in astronomy, they automatically are connected to the Sky Server which accesses all the telescopic pictures of the stars, introduces an on-line expert talking about the individual constellations, and pulls up a chatting environment with other students who are looking at the same environment. (p.28)

— Randy Hinrichs | Research Manager for Learning Science and Technology | Microsoft Research Group

From DSC:
As I was thinking about the section on the intelligent tutor/helper…I thought, “You know…this isn’t just for educators. Pastors and youth group leaders out there should take note of what students were asking for here.”

  • Help, I need somebody
  • Help me with ____
  • Many students expressed interest in an “answer machine,” through which a student could pose a specific question and the machine would respond with an answer. <– I thought of online, Christian-based mentors here, available 24x7x365 to help folks along with their spiritual journeys

E-Learning 2010: E-Educators Evolving — from (9/20/10)

This special report, the second in a three-part series on e-learning, aims to answer questions related to the growing role of e-educators in K-12 education. It provides perspectives and advice from state policymakers and virtual school providers navigating through the new and often murky policy waters of online-only education, and features insights from e-educators in the trenches of virtual schooling.

Students go to cyber high school

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Brick, Mortar, the Cloud and Drones – the Future of the Classroom– from Kirsten Winkler

What if you could actively participate in a class that takes place on a campus on the other side of the world, not only watching a live stream but actually interacting with the teacher and writing your solution on the whiteboard?

What if you could be physically present on a campus on the other side of the world and talking to your professor before walking into the next class while sitting at home on your computer?  Futuristic you say? Wrong. Take a look at the two videos below and see what is already possible today.

Also see:


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