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Beyond the Stacks
Resources & News for High School Educators from your teacher-librarian
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NCAA Bans Coursework Completed by Athletes in 24 K12 Inc. Virtual Schools

NCAA Bans Coursework Completed by Athletes in 24 K12 Inc. Virtual Schools | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Student-athletes attending two dozen virtual schools operated by K12 Inc. will not receive eligibility for their coursework from the NCAA in 2014-15.
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AP Courses Surge Even as Online AP Participation Declines -- THE Journal

Participation in Advanced Placement courses has doubled in the last decade, and success rates have just about kept pace, according to a new report released by the College Board today. But one counterintuitive nugget that didn't make the final report: Participation in online AP courses has actually declined.
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More Advanced Placement classes to be offered online in The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

More Advanced Placement classes to be offered online in The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Thanks to a funding increase, a program providing universal access to advanced classes can also take more students.
Heather Perkinson's insight:

Offering access to courses, especially college prep AP credits, in a state where many small rural schools can't afford to offer a wide range of courses, is admirable.  I do wonder at the trend towards phasing out face to face teaching and learning in a state that has already shown a predilection for eliminating professional positions and replacing them with para-pros whenever possible.

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Here Comes 2013: The Big Themes in Learning

Here Comes 2013: The Big Themes in Learning | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

 Here are three big stories concerning education and learning that you’ll be hearing about in the year ahead."

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Idaho repeals online graduation requirement - The Spokesman-Review

Idaho repeals online graduation requirement - The Spokesman-Review | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

"It was Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna himself who made the motion at the state Board of Education this morning to repeal the rule requiring that every Idaho high school student take at least two online classes to graduate."

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Maine Union Report Criticizes Online K-12 School Performance | Education News

Maine Union Report Criticizes Online K-12 School Performance | Education News | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Education News shares the MEA's critical report on online schools with the rest of the country. 

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Education Week: Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules

Education Week: Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
This special report, part of Education Week’s ongoing series on virtual education, examines how state policymakers, educators, and schools are rethinking and changing the rules for e-learning.

 

More here about virtual/online learning, including Digital Learning Now, which Education Week calls "bipartisan."  Articles also about teacher prep/certification, flipped teaching, and new laws nationwide that are expanding virtual course options.

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Maine Senate fails to override LePage on virtual school bill | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine Senate fails to override LePage on virtual school bill   | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
The governor vetoed a bill that would have placed a moratorium on virtual charter schools while Maine developed a plan for a state-run virtual school.
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The Current MOOC Trends Worth Knowing About - Edudemic

The Current MOOC Trends Worth Knowing About - Edudemic | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
In an effort to stay on top of one of the buzzwords, we're showcasing a recent study that asked schools about the current MOOC trends and more.
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Flood of Investment, Products Stirs Fears of Education 'Tech Bubble'

Flood of Investment, Products Stirs Fears of Education 'Tech Bubble' | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Analysts and business officials wonder if the education technology market faces the risk of a crash, similar to what occurred during the dot-com bust in the 1990s.
Heather Perkinson's insight:

Analysts' opinions certainly differ about whether the Ed Tech market will suffer the same fate as the dot-coms, but there is one thing all educators can agree on:  Buyer Beware!

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Massive Open Online Courses Prove Popular, if Not Lucrative Yet

Massive Open Online Courses Prove Popular, if Not Lucrative Yet | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
New companies are partnering with universities to offer online courses, in an effort that could define the future of higher education — if anyone can figure out how to make money.
Heather Perkinson's insight:

Never mind whether they're PEDAGOGICALLY sound.  That's a discussion for another day, I guess.

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Online Schools Face Backlash Amid Exploding Popularity, States Question Academic Results

Online Schools Face Backlash Amid Exploding Popularity, States Question Academic Results | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

More about online schools from Reuters/HuffPost.  This article nicely describes how online schools have gained popularity--and attracted criticism.  

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Google Releases Open-Source Online-Education Software - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Google Releases Open-Source Online-Education Software - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Google's foray into the online education scene may come about through a partnership with edX (Harvard, MIT and UC Berkeley). See also:  http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-releases-open-source-online-education-software/39882

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Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Documents expose the flow of money and influence from corporations that stand to profit from state leaders' efforts to expand and deregulate digital education.

I've excerpted one especially revealing section below from what is, overall, a scathing and comprehensive look at how conservatives are using Maine as a test-case for advancing their agendas for profiting from education "reform" nationwide.  In the excerpt, Maine's Education Commissioner Bowen explains why he is advancing Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education's Digital Learning Now! strategy for implementing online/virtual learning via charter school legislation:  

 

“When you are developing public policy, you look at what states are doing and you look at national policy and you try to put it all together,” he said. “I think we share the aims of Digital Learning Now! in that we want to broaden access to digital learning, and that where somebody lives shouldn’t determine if they have access. Some of what we try to move forward will be consistent with DLN, some of it won’t.”

Bush, the commissioner said, was likely excited about Maine because of former Gov. Angus King’s pioneering laptop program, which has equipped all seventh- and eighth-graders, about half of high school students, and all middle and secondary schoolteachers with Apple computers. “This is one piece that no other state has,” he noted.

Bowen rejected the notion that online education companies were having undue influence on the department’s policies, which in any case would be scrutinized through the democratic process, needing to pass legislative committees and floor votes.

“Lots and lots of people are involved in public policy, and at the end of the day, the ideas are what matters, and I have to have good ideas when I am standing downstairs at the (State House’s) education committee,” Bowen said. “Our job as policymakers is to take ideas from wherever they come from and throw them against the wall and see what they can do.”

“If I’m being accused of asking around and getting ideas from some of the people who are working on this nationally,” he said, “then I’m guilty.”

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