K-12 Online Learning

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K-12 Online Learning by Mind Map: K-12 Online Learning

1. Students

1.1. Who are they?

1.1.1. Have specific needs best met via online ed: Supplemental courses (ex: recovering credit, extensions, flexibility); Full-time ed (ex: homeschooled, homebound, in full-time training for sports/arts; unsuccessful in traditional setting); Hybrid (ex: at-risk, alternative, returning after leave) (Keeping Pace 2016, 9)

1.1.2. Demographics in 2011: 55% are female, 59.2% are white, there is significant underrepresentation in ELL, FRD and SpEd subcategories (Keeping Pace 2011, 35)

1.2. What do they need?

1.2.1. Support/guidance both online and at home in using the online system most effectively, clear steps, goals, ready communication with the instructor--not falling into the trap of the Digital Native Myth (Kirschner & Van Merriënboer, 170-171)

1.2.2. Ideally: A personal interest/drive to focus on the materials in the course

1.2.3. Access to equipment, guidance with choosing programs, a relationship with a mentor/course instructor

1.2.4. A strong understanding of your own needs. A willingness to communicate with teachers when they need help or need more extensions. (COL Student.)

1.2.5. Comfort with problem-solving on tech/scheduling (ex: backing things up, viewing a week or more in advance) (COL Student.)

1.3. Risks/Concerns

1.3.1. Technology influences brain and can negatively change how other activities are done--ex: concentration, reading offline, etc.--neuroplasticity gone awry--loss of deep thinking, patience, focus over prolonged period , long-term memory, etc. (PBS Google)

1.3.2. We're in the middle of creating 'hierarchies of knowledge,' so its challenging to know what is accurate/true (CBS)

1.3.3. Requires 'passion' for people to want to focus on things (CBS)

1.3.4. Easy to be distracted, tempted to other applications when on tech, unknown long-term effects on pruning in the brain, greater likelihood of addiction to aspects of tech (PBS Technology)

2. Teachers

2.1. Who are they?

2.1.1. Employees of school districts who implement blended learning in their traditional classrooms, employees (part-time or full-time) of the company providing the course who communicate with the student as part of the course

2.1.2. Experienced professionals looking for new ways of working with students, looking for ways to eliminate the problems typical of traditional F2F classrooms (Sutherland)

2.1.3. Traditional teachers who have the support of their local administrators as well as their on-site tech support to back them up; they may also collaborate with the designers of web courses (Davis and Niederhauser, 12.)

2.2. What skills do they need?

2.2.1. Access to accreditation in online learning (Keeping Pace 2011, 37), support of such endorsement from admin/state

2.2.2. Access to training and community of likeminded learners.

2.2.3. Access to technology within the classroom--either school-provided of B.Y.O.D.

2.2.4. Curiosity and a personal interest in broadening their knowledge of current online options

2.2.5. Strengths in guiding students towards greater digital literacy and self-directed learning skills

2.2.6. Strong interpersonal and organizational skills, can communicate regularly without causing students to become overly dependent (Davis and Niederhauser, 14)

2.2.7. Strong organization skills to effectively differentiate for students (OCDSB Challenges.)

2.2.8. Marking and assessment--with timely, detailed feedback-- even more important (OCDSB Challenges)

2.2.9. Able to keep on top of students who seem to be struggling with the eLearning model (OCDSB Challenges)

2.2.10. Being able/prepared to problem solve around issues like coordinating schedules with school restrictions, navigating IT issues (student permissions, etc.) while maintaining the integrity of the class. (Davis and Niederhauser, 14.)

2.2.11. Flexible thinking to create Different strategies for traditional problems (ex: procrastination, plagiarism, etc.) Being willing to be novices and learn-as-you-go (Archambault and Kent.)

2.3. Benefits for Teachers

2.3.1. Flexibility of schedule, more time for feedback and reflection, interacting with students (OCDSB Things.)

2.3.2. Broadens and varies colleague group--cuts across curriculum and school boundaries--more collaborative--more likely to be "ahead of the crowd" and piloting/implementing initiatives (OCDSB Things.)

2.3.3. A different type of environment and opportunity for teachers that may not be available in standard contract.

2.4. Downsides for Teachers

2.4.1. Since course materials are often "canned" and designed by outside sources, teachers may feel the loss of that "creative" aspect of their job (Borup & Stevens, 5)

2.4.2. Can make it difficult to ever by "off" when anytime/anyplace is the model (Borup & Stevens, 7)

2.4.3. Ability to create relationships dependent on model used by school--current trend to push for ever larger numbers (no constraints by space) means increasingly limited contact (Borup & Stevens,8)

2.4.4. Regardless of previous experience, new format means greater need for professional development --schools not always prepared/wiilling to give it since online ed supposed to SAVE money (Borup & Stevens, 9)

2.4.5. Ever-changing technology and the impact that has on both students and teachers when trying to keep a class running (Borup & Stevens, 18)

2.4.6. At present, there may be more of a focus on growing schools rather than on refining and improving the quality of existing schools (Virtual, 2017)

2.4.7. Student success is challenging--in Michigan report, 48% of students passed ALL online classes taken, 25% passed NONE (Michigan 2018)

2.4.8. 93% of online teachers (out of 178 schools surveyed) have less than 5 years experienced. (Hawkins, et.al., 124)

2.4.9. Greater responsibilities (managerial/technical) in order to keep individual students from "getting lost" (Hawkins, et. al., 128.)

2.4.10. Student motivation not intrinsic, but in online communities even less so--more reliance on teacher to interact (Hawkins, et.al. 129)

2.4.11. Disconnection because of the structures in place--despite interest and attempts at connection (Hawkins, et.al. 132)

3. Big Picture, Growth Trends, & Benefits

3.1. Benefits

3.1.1. Benefit: Provides solution for teacher shortages in high need/high skill areas (ex: World languages) (Keeping Pace 2016, 20)

3.1.2. Benefit: Provides access to classes not readily available to every district, makes partnerships possible beyond the local district (ex: museums), (Keeping Pace 2016, 24)

3.1.3. Benefit: Supports statewide college/career readiness and online learning goals (Keeping Pace 2016, 27)

3.1.4. Benefit: Provides an economical way to have a wide range of professional development for teachers (Keeping Pace 2016, 25)

3.2. Big Picture

3.2.1. Curriculum tailored to individual student's pace, and "Any time, anyplace" education (Archimbault & Kennedy, 4)

3.2.2. Available tech allows increasingly experiential, real-world learning,(Archimbault & Kennedy, 5)

3.2.3. In the limited long-term studies that have been done, no significant difference has been found in student outcomes between traditional and online ed ( Archimbault & Kennedy, 11)

3.2.4. Relationship-building and connection the key to overcoming obstacles related to the online course's structure and distance (Archimbault & Kennedy, 12)

3.3. Growth Trends

3.3.1. Growth Trends: Legislation making an online courses part of school choice options or, in some states, even a graduation requirement (Archimbault & Kennedy, 6)

3.3.2. Future research should focus on: who online ed works best for, what conditions make it most effective (Archimbault & Kennedy, 11)

3.3.3. The effectiveness of online courses needs to be a priority going forward (Archimbault & Kennedy, 15)

3.3.4. In US 30% annual growth, 40% of secondary students want to take an online course, there's a great need for more online learning opportunities (Sutherland)

4. Main Drawbacks

4.1. Requires developmental readiness/resilience in the student and strong support systems

4.1.1. Challenging to focus on academic tasks/goals when other online distractions are readily available, all students require instruction/practice/guidance in being effective online learners, some students also require more direct adult support than others to maintain momentum; acknowledging this means avoiding both the Digital Native and the Multitasking myths (Kirschner & Van Merriënboer, 171)

4.1.2. Success predictors: "self-motivation and the ability to structure one’s own learning, previous experience with technology, a good attitude toward the content, and self-confidence in academic endeavors"(Archimbault & Kennedy, 5)

4.1.3. Lack of parent support can lead to student failure (Archimbault & Kennedy, 13)

4.2. Implementation Effectiveness

4.2.1. Ex: Course choice programs vs school choice policies--the former provides structure to guide families, the latter is not required to, so it may be difficult for families to navigate and for students to succeed. (Archimbault & Kennedy, 7)

4.2.2. Based on data from Michigan: Students pass rates significantly lower for students in their online courses. (Archimbault & Kennedy, 14)

4.2.3. Existing course models inconsistent in quality and effectiveness (Archimbault & Kennedy, 14)

4.2.4. Needs to be an increased focus on "learning how to learn online" before getting kids enrolled (Archimbault & Kennedy, 14)

4.2.5. Funding (Archimbault & Kennedy, 15)

4.3. The Digital Divide

4.3.1. At risk of reflecting same issues found at traditional schools: lack of consistent access to tech/online connectivity= statistical underrepresentation of subgroups despite strong evidence that online/blended ed particularly benefits these groups (Keeping Pace 2011, 35, 36)

4.3.2. Even when digital tools are provided, digital literacy must still be addressed Archimbault & Kennedy, 5)

5. FCPS' Foray into Online Learning

5.1. FCPS Online Campus

5.2. Telepresence Robots ( Double Robot Brings the Classroom to Homebound Students | Fairfax County Public Schools )