Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Susan Patrick: Community of Interest Discussion: Virtual Schools and 21st-Century Skills - notes

Susan Patrick, North American Council for Online Learning
North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) Website

The big trend is we see schools moving more toward a blended model of online and traditional learning.

The % of classrooms where professors are in front of students giving a lecture is 3% at MIT.

What is driving this is the need to access information databases.

We are creating a bigger disparity than ever (digital equity). We need to find more ways to get technology to the students and involve them in blended instruction.

50% of high school courses offered online are AP.

Algebra I is the most requested course. (credit recovery)

Credit recovery is in huge demand for those students who are struggling (I have noticed this recently in how many course management system companies have contacted me wanting to sell our district their services).

The latest SLOAN report states that 1 in 5 students take an online course.

If students are going to do this in college they need exposure to it in high school.

"I'm so sick of it. I know I am smart enough to graduate. But I have to go through these metal detectors....Online instruction was the only thing that kept me in school."

The Gates Foundation Silent Epidemic Study - first study that really looks at dropouts
88% of our dropouts had passing grades
Most felt frustrated, disenfranchised, unchallenged.
Recommendations: need more personalized instruction, need more rigor and relevance

We are not focusing enough on the gifted kids!

We are having the wrong discussion by aiming at the middle. Other countries are focusing on their gifted.

Because of the flexibility of online instruction we are seeing teachers who have left the profession for one reason or another coming back. Online is also giving teachers the flexibility to work part-time in the evenings to supplement their full-time teaching jobs (I am a perfect example of this).

One of the problems we have is figuring out how to give students the absolute best education with the funds we have.

When we talk about the future we are talking about 2 years from now.

Our teacher training programs are not teaching teachers how to teach online. They need to because they are missing the boat.

We will soon enter a teacher shortage like we have never seen before. We will not be able to deal with this problem without online learning.

Last year Georgia only graduated on new physics teacher. This is not uncommon nationwide.

They are coming out with national online teaching standards.

No comments: