e2020 Inc. Goes ‘Back to School’ with Courses based on New Interactive Instructional Model
Published: Sunday, 7 October 2012
High engagement curriculum - media-rich, personalized - appeals to today’s digital learners. One of the fastest-growing providers of online learning solutions, recently announced that it has released a large selection of courses for the 2012-2013 school year. These courses were built on a new instructional model and expressly designed to meet US state and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Extra funding available in the US to support literacy projects
Published: Thursday, 4 October 2012
The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently announced the award of $28 million for 46 first-time grants that aim to improve literacy skills for students in high-need districts and schools. Funded for the first time under the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program, grants are designed to increase student achievement by promoting early literacy for young children and by motivating older children to read. "Literacy is the key to higher learning and a window to the world," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
This special report, part of Education Week's ongoing series on virtual education, examines how US state policymakers, educators, and schools are rethinking and changing the rules for e-learning. It provides analyses on the benefits and drawbacks of these changes, and what to expect during this school year and beyond. Read this eMagazine focusing on US issues.
The US state of Pennsylvania is witnessing the emergence of new partnerships that help cut costs for students attending one of the state's 13 cyber schools. A report in eSchool in late July highlighted the partnership which brings together The Learning Lamp and In-Shore Technologies who are now offering Blended Learning Technologies (BLT), which provides curriculum, teachers, hardware, and tech support for half the cost districts pay when a student enrolls in one the state’s 13 cyber charter schools.
New "Race to the Top " competition to enhance teaching in US schools
Published: Monday, 25 June 2012
The US Department of Education recently announced a new "Race to the Top" District competition, one that is aimed squarely at the classroom level with a focus on the relationship between teachers and students. The proposed competition offers nearly $400 million in grants and invites school districts to create plans for individualized classroom instruction aimed at closing achievement gaps and preparing each student for college and career. "Race to the Top" supports states that raise standards, build better data systems, evaluate and support principals and teachers, and dramatically transform their lowest-performing schools. Read more here.
The Center for Public Education - National School Boards Association in the US has recently published an interesting report on Virtual Schools in the US. Its main findings include the fact that Online courses and schools enrol a small fraction of the 52 million public school students, but they are rapidly gaining ground. K-12 students take nearly 2 million courses online annually. In addition, about 250,000 students were enrolled full-time in virtual schools in 2010-11, up from 200,000 the year before. The report also found that the development, management and staffing of online courses and schools is supported by both public and private providers. For-profit companies K-12, Inc., and Connections Academy together enrolled nearly half of all full-time online students in 2010-11.
Michigan increases number of Cyber Charter Schools despite local objections
Published: Sunday, 3 June 2012
Oakland County students who are already enrolled in Michigan’s only two cyber charter schools will have more options now that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law legislation that allows the number of schools offering all classes on computers to increase to 15 by 2015. Many Oakland County superintendents and other educators are opposed to the move to allow more cyber schools before there is more evaluation on the two existing schools that can enroll students anywhere in the state.
Nora Carr writing in the eSchool News in March makes the argument that the success of virtual schools in the US is posing a challenge to policy-makers. In this article, Nora refers to various actions in the US taken at state-level to introduce new rules and policies in an effort to keep up with the rapid increase in virtual school interest. She argues that virtual learning is here to stay and makes the point that the key for school officials is to think through how to manage this transformative new opportunity wisely and well. Read the full article.
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