What the Research Has to Say About K-12 Online Learning
Cathy Cavanaugh, University of Florida

Some keywords related to yesterday's keynote:
Equity of Access -
Global Learning - what environment should Global Learning occur?
Semester course enrollments in US: 2000-01 - under 50 thousand students; 2005-06 - 700 thousand
People are beginning to trust the idea - 21st c. Learning Skills are important

2 main questions:
Does it work? Do kids actually learn? (usually by outsiders, policy makers)
How do we make it better? (usually by educators)

Presenter studied 19 DE programs rigorously, comparing to traditional from 1986-97
Then 14 programs from 1989-2004
Then 8 studies in 2005
Over the course of these studies, DE improved in relation to traditional and appeared to be more beneficial in many cases

How does online learning compare to classroom learning?
Overall, equally effective for academic achievement
They are different and equally complex serving different populations, strategies, methods
10 years from now we won't use terms like DE, blended learning, etc. Effective teaching and learning will simply involve the technologies and resources we are pioneering today.

Effective DE is more about who is teaching, who is learning, and how the learning is accomplished, and less to do with the medium.
Virtual schools are more"bimodal" than traditional schools, and have continually increased course completion rates.
However, post-secondary is not improving as much - due to philosophy around responsibility for supporting students

According to studies, DE teachers have improved their own teaching practices in many ways - not only in online environment but in f2f as well. Online teachers become very student focussed - so this is carried over to their regular classrooms as well.

How does online learning contribute to student achievement?
More communication, feedback, and student-teacher interaction
Simulations, manipulatives, tutorials
Higher levels of student engagement and sense of community
More time practicing course content

In my opinion, these are all dependent upon the teacher (just like a f2f classroom). In DE, the teachers are likely exceptional teachers already (would a poor f2f teacher be allowed to become a DE teacher?) These "good" teachers that enter into DE, are likely ambitious, eager to improve their own skills, and simpy motivated to make sure that their experience and the experiences of the students are positive. Plus, the students are likely from the upper end.

Successful students in DE:
motivated, independent, self-directed
enjoy technology
strong language skills, visual learners
has involved parents
involved in extra-cur
positive attitudes, willing to ask for help
Extroverted students should take interactive courses
Introverted students should take self-paces courses
Students prefer to be active - chunking is important
Demonstrate, then get them to do something - do this more frequently than f2f

Effective course design:
Structure and meanigful content are critical
clear expectations
concreate deadlines with some flexibility
oulines of course requirements
time sheets
study guides
interaction and collaboration

The top reason kids give for choosing online learning - flexibility
ie. choices within the course, options to complete the course quickly or in chunks

qualified in content and experience in online environment
differentiated instruction; continual updating of course materials
successful f2f teacher does not necessarily mean successful DE teacher
require reliable technology - not really an issue anymore

One to one learning - toolkit to get started (or something like that)

Students require stimulation, they use screens all the time. We need to prepare them for a world in which they will live in, not one that will no longer exist.

Federal technology evaluation grants – evaluate and look at relationships of conditions
4 levels – immersed a whole district; vertical team of elem, mid, high; single campus; middle school campuses

What the immersion looks like:
Tech and st standards are fused together in a learning experience.
Enthusiasm improves
PD is key - tech literacy and integration (teachers, students, parents)

Community support increased (since students, parents were getting laptops); therefore communication/relationships b/w schools and parents improved.


Schools of the Future
Singapore Ministry of Education

Introduced by ISTE CEO
Says that Singapore is the world leader in education technology - integration especially.
355 schools in Singapore

Primary School - 6 yrs
Secondary 4-5
Then a choice of 3: JC, Polytechnic, ITE
Then University

Used to emphasize employability = higher averages (teach assuming everyone is the same)
Now focussed on quality of education with choice, flexibility = greater peaks of excellence (unique, customized)
Creative Thinking; Lifelong Learning; Social Responsibility

Basically, funding is required for IT/EdTech (infrastructure, training, etc.) or else it will never happen.
There will be many technologies that we don't even know of yet, to solve problems that we don't even know to exist yet.
This statement epitomizes "innovation" - we need to prepare for the future by pushing forward with research, experimentation - continually trying to do things better.

Begin with Innovation in Teaching and Learning; enhance ICT skills; business partnerships
Nan Hua High School
1785 students aged 13-16 - average class size is 40. 90 year old school, but very modern - wireless campus
Nearly 100% of students have high speed internet and computers at home.
IT VIsion: to be a school of distinction that celebrates opprtunity and succeses in learning through IT.

2005 Tablet PC Program
emphasis on thinking and learning
procurement: opt-in system - demo it to students and parents; vendors; sign-up
teaching materials
infrastructure - ie. wireless

Critical success factors:
culture of excellence and experimentation; school eladership; staff relationshios
support; maintenance

students very IT savvy - better quality work
more engaged
not dependent on the equipment

Big focus on mind-mapping, project work - rather than pen and paper work

Games in Humanities Education - gaming is acceptable
Focus on geography, natural resources, transportation, collaboration
ie. simulation interactive game about fictional world in Asia 200BC

Language = Tablet PC
Humanities = Gaming

Future plan- equip more students with Tablets

Main projects:
Games in Humanities Ed and other topics
Video Conferencing partners in other parts of the world

School - didn't catch the name
established in 2000
2200 students aged 7-12 (and growing in size each year)
70% from low to mid income families - can't afford computers
class average is 40 students (often larger)
12 admin staff; 101 teacher
90% of teachers under age of 30
90% have less than 5 years of teaching experience
Goals - to provide space and resources to students and teachers
Allow for a "dare to fail" environment - encourages innovation
3 aspects of innovation
connectivity (subject integration)
collaboration (industries, institutes of higher learning, other shools)
culture building (staff initiated innovations - impressing and communicating) - also buuilding staff capacity - training programs with other schools, overseas

Another panel speaker: Canberra Primary School
Focus on Language Learning
Zoo IQ - virtual learning environment (looks like a first person sim/adventure game)
enhances experiential learning
integration - english and math
partnerships - polytechnic
Digital Inking project - use of Tablet PCs
Inking and Connectivity - not only writing with the Tablet, but then connect with others via
Podcasting - learning mother-tongue; peer evaluation; reflections of events (ie. field trips), reporting,e tc.

Observation - looks like Singapore uses Tablet PCs extensively. (lots of video clips of students, the presenters)
Not so much because of the technology in writing/creating, but more so for the sharing/collaboration - lots in the humanities - drawing, inking, etc.

Future - pervasive integration; soon to be 1 to 1; redesigning curr; pedagogy; assessment; capitalize on emerging technologies (not sure what they are now, but eager to fit it in when it arrives).

Sustaining and Cascading Innovation

Ministry - top down support
LeadICT in schools - ground up iniatives

THomas Lim - Director of Tech/Innovation; something like that
iN2015 (intelligent nation 2015)
Lots of cool videos - the last one about the future is really cool

10 years time: 3 main things
1. pervasive computing and wirelss is a given - anywhere anytime
2. learning tailored to individuals
3. collaboration

role of teacher:
foster learning experience; upgrade skill sets (teachers who are 30 today will be 40 in 10 years, so the digital immigrant/native issue will always exist)
Nationwide in Singapore, 50% of students play games and growing; want to use this strategy in education - ie. multisensory inputs, immersion; good platform for engagement; free to explore. In a virtual world, the learning is embdded in the game, which is a new mind-set

Great presentation! Inspiring to innovate and prepare for the future. Perhaps somewhat idealistic (the bar is set high), but they are willing and eager to try - this is obvious in the environment they are encouraging.

Google session
Staggeringly Good Things Mixing Google Earth and Media

Hall Davidson, Discovery Education


using tablet-so handwriting may not translate perfectly


Google Earth Pro - free
GEEC @ google.com
can make movies, music

adding layers, image overlays (the guy's head), flickr photos, etc

Google lit trips is a cool project

archive. org - great free site
Jr. High video

Teachers could do this in conjunction with United Streaming. ie. download videos ahead of time, put them at place marks on the earth. Would be great for History, locations in time, historical videos, animal habitats,

save as kmz file to email, etc - Google reads kmz
maybe we can create a pvsd repository of kmz files?
kml files are html and can be saved in GE then edited

Personal idea - could put images video links to locations we have traveled to
Also, check out Network link option
Can have GE open to a different pIaCe everyday

Darth Vader, "This is CNN", and Terence Mann...what do these have in common?
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Here's how it goes: I was walking by, and a huge mob of people seemed interested in a particular session. To make a long story short, the mob turned into a line, then Verizon handed out tickets to see James Earl Jones and Adora Svitak. Good timing on my part!

Here's the blurb from their website:

Visit Thinkfinity at NECC!
From literary improv with legendary actor and Verizon Literacy Champion James Earl Jones and nine-year-old literary wonder Adora Svitak, to a CEO Spotlight, book signing and presentations by our Content Partners, you won't want to miss all of the Thinkfinity activity at NECC 2007. Stop by our booth (#434) for exciting presentations every half-hour, or join us for one of the sessions listed on our event flyer. We look forward to seeing you there!

James Earl Jones is committed to Education. He will be at the Verizon/Thinkfinity booth later today.

Adora is a 9 year old genius who has been reading and writing since she was like 2 year old.
She now has published works. She appears to be very tiny.
More info:

Really cool - James Earl Jones is reading the Prince and the Pea, while the audience watches Adora's laptop on the big screen. She is going to write a contemporary version of the story on the fly (using Thinkfinity resources) while James Earl Jones reads aloud (what a great sounding voice!). While he is reading, Adora is researching on Thinkfinity. When he finished the story, she opened up Word and began to write. If you think that is amazing, someone went around the audience and asked questions like, "what kind of modern technology coud be used to tell whether or not the princess was a real princess?"...a whole bunch of questions like that. As people gave answers into the mic, it was obvious on Adora's screen that she was incorporating these shared thoughts into her story on the fly. Her mind is so complex - amazing! Adora's story will be available at the Thinkfinity website.

James had a question - more of a rhetorical question about how the use of technology sharpens the mind. He claims that he is observing this. The conversation changed into the fact that kids are changing, therefore education is changing - more choices result in more powerful learning...etc, etc...same as what we have been hearing throughout the conference.

Reference to "Shift Happens" on Youtube.
media type=

Interesting Vendors
Lots of choice!

I gotta get into Google Skech-up


Some cool Robots, kind of like the Lego Robots

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Functional furniture for laptops and LCD screens

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Tablet PCs -still increasing everywhere


Beginner's Guide to GPS
Lisa Buck, West Blocton Alabama

Two main types: Recreational
Lat and long
map data
to make maps
to find things

Vocab (word splash)
trip computer
Lat (horizontal) + Long (vert) = earth's grid
Math - find distances, areas, connection to Cartesian Coordinates, Lines of Long and Lat - time zones
History - routes ie. Columbus and Trade Winds, Pony Express
Other - create a bke tour of the town

Reading a GPS
hemis deg, min, sec

1035.75 mils bw lat lines
69.05 miles bw 1 deg lat
1.15 miles bw min
.019 bw sec = 100ft 3.5 inches
However its a sliding scale
At 28 eg N Lat
Big set of instructions to cosine to determine distances in your area

Screen shots of GPSs - describing how to use

Need to create a mark - name it, then record the coords

Groups of 2
FInd a Geocache

Handouts at NECC website
You have to give them all different waypoints

More Vendors

Discovery's United Streaming - session on 50 ways to integrate Unitedstreaming into classrooms. Hopefully the presentation is online.


Faronics has an app similar to NetOp that allows teachers to control student desktops for demonstation purposes, classroom management, etc.


Quia - we considered this as a subscription (but we didn't choose to go with it). Looks like an online quiz builder.


Accelerated Reader - we considered this as a subscription (but we didn't choose to go with it). Looks like an online quiz builder.


FSRI - www.frsi.ca has GIS and GPS resources for teachers. Gotta check it out.


Got Game: Teaching the M Generation unsing Immersive Technology
Panel Presentation - principal, other educational leaders, game developer
If you don't engage kids, they won't listen
VGs ave figured out how to engage kids
93% of kids play video games

Should this change how we teach?
Or should we keep teaching the way we were taught?

Too many standards to cover, so paradigm shifts will not occur.

They set up a Math game. Kids were running in and lining up to play the game throughout the year. But, the game required math skills, so the kids couldn't necessarily play it well if they didn't know math. As a result, kids were approaching teachers and other students and saying, "can you teach me the math?" ...they had a reason to learn the math.

On a personal note, I know that Cam will leave the PS2, go to the computer, look something up, then return to the PS2. Also, some of the first words he could read were 'cancel', 'exit', 'ok', 'start', etc.

My connections...
Young children learn through 'play'. Play=games.
Why is it then that 'games' and 'gaming' has such a negative connotation - esp. with the boomers?
I agree, there are bad games out there (ie. shoot 'em up, etc.).
However, I think we too often compare contemporary conventions with traditional conventions - using the same scale.
ie. books were the entertainment a century ago, and they continued to garner a positive connotation (if you are reading, then you must be learning). Now, VGs are the contemporary entertainment of choice, but are compared to the quality of books. This is paradigm shift in entertainment and education. People focus on the negative and blanket the negative of VGs to all VGs. The negatives of books is never addressed. Non-VG players have no idea. Would the credibility of someone who has never read a book be valid? If VGs came out before books, then we would criticize books - they isolate kids; they are so one-dimensional and linear; they offer no choice to kids; they contribute to decreased exercise; you can't collaborate with networks of people while reading a book; way more girls read books than boys, so books must be another contributor to the disengagement of boys (VGs have been coined as another way to turn girls off of technology, math, sci - but not true); books offer very little rewards; no strategy; no multifaceted thinking (ie. problem solving - the problem in a book is told to the reader). A strong theme of this conference is the fact that 21st century conventions (ie. Web 2.0, video games, etc.) are not only different from older conventions, but they will make kids smarter than previous generations. VGs, Web 2.0, still require the traditional skills, but they go a step further and focus on application, creation, etc. As a result of these processes, stimulations, etc. their brain development will undoubtebly exceed ours. So, should we still teach kids the same, traditional way? ie. teachers as the source of knowledge, libraries as the hub of resources, curriculum in a linear, prescribed form? no choices? I'm gonna stop now - this is getting frustrating. Education as it exists today, was designed for students of yesterday - it will not exist in the format a generation from now. Either we begin to change it (and keep up with the times), or kids/parents will simply see schools as irrelevant.

Albert Einstein said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Re-imagine, Rejuvinate, Renew!
Beyond School Library Media Specialist 2.0

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Need to change people's perceptions about libraries.
Great comparison - Zoos.

What were zoos like 25 years ago? cages, entertainment for people
Now, they have tons of wide open spaces, conservation and education are the focus

So we need to stop thinking about libraries as centres of static information.
They need to get kids to engage in order to learn.
What is the stereotypical librarian? old lady with books.
This needs to change - focus on learning, accessing information beyond the walls
Get kids using GPSs to learn about bugs outside, etc.
What will tech be like in 2020? Kids entering today will graduate in 2020.

The US got into innovative thinking in the 90's - WebQuests, etc.
Then they went back to the basics - due to standards, etc.
Now they are moving away from the basics, and advancing into new ways of thinking and learning
This session is going through all the Web 2.0 tools - but instead of the big names, like Blogger, Wikispaces - the presenter is listing comparable tools - ie. LibraryThing, Teacherlibrarianwiki, SchoolTube, TeacherTube, etc.

Way too much talk about the instructions for adding a book cover image to a LibraryThing page....and lower order things like this

Animation and similar

Maya - tv and movies have used it - available online for free http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_(software)
Alice v2.0 - The Sims - available online for free http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_%28software%29
TuxPaint - similar to KidPix http://www.tuxpaint.org/
Inspiration.com has Inspire Data - visuals for visualizing data http://www.inspiration.com/productinfo/inspiredata/
Book - Russel and the Lost Treasure - good intro to photography for little kids - good message for talking to kids about memories, stories, importance of photography

Closing Keynote: Tim Tyson

School 1.0 - rules, rituals, routines, right answers
School 2.0 - engaged, meaningful, etc.
Battery is dead - I see that Michelle is taking good notes anyway.