Good morning, my frozen friends. Feedback on formatting of this blog would be much appreciated.  I’ve been trying out a couple different patterns.  Topically, I strive to focus on state policy around personalized and blended learning, with some in-school examples when highlighted in the news.  Common Core implementation also gets discussed as do a few other topics, particularly those impacting my home state of Ohio.

(CompetencyWorks):  Student Directed Individualized Learning for All “When setting goals and direction, students become engaged leaders of their own learning. Goal setting and monitoring are essential components of learning. “On average, the practice of having students track their own progress was associated with a 32 percentile gain in their achievement” (Marzano, 2009).

(The Columbia Missourian) Missouri lawmakers were unaware of state aid to Western Governors University. Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee “repeatedly brought up that Missouri’s public institutions have failed to address the unfilled niche of online education. He said that because so many Missourians enrolled in WGU so quickly, it must be offering something other universities are not.”

(Green Bay Press Gazette) ‘Flipped’ classroom on display at open house for Digital Learning Day “Eighth-grade math teacher Cliff Goodacre has been flipping his classes for more than 1½ years at Southern Door (Middle School)…Goodacre told those gathered that he records all of his videos and posts them to YouTube and his blog for students to watch. Students who do not have access to Internet or a computer at home can request the videos on a flash drive or burned to a DVD.”

(Getting Smart) What if kids co-created customized learning pathways? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. “New tools are making it easier to customize learning for every student. Playlists, projects, and portfolios support big blocks, maker spaces, and flex schools.”

Related: (T.H.E. Journal) Retiring Florida Virtual Schools leader Julie Young opened up about the opportunities the school has opened up for students across the state. “Part of the equation, according to Young, has been to provide high-level courses in an online setting to students who would otherwise not have access. “Back in 1996,” she said, “more than 50 percent of the state” didn’t have AP programs. “Today, every student in the state has access to 15 high-quality advanced placement courses… This focus on opportunity rather than geography has resulted in 45 percent of FLVS AP students coming from rural, high minority, or low performing schools. Given this information, said Young, if we look at virtual  learning as a whole, “imagine the possibilities we have as educators to focus on fundamentally changing the way we teach kids and the outcomes we are getting.”

(Deseret News) Technology can’t replace humans in the classroom.  While that’s the bad rap that technophobes like to give to digital, blended, or online learning, I defy anyone to read about what’s actually happening in these classrooms, such as the one in Green Bay noted above, or any of the numerous examples highlighted on Getting Smart or other such websites and come to that conclusion.

(Maine Public Radio) A Maine lawmaker is amending his bill to launch a state-run, virtual school. Instead, Rep. Brian Langley, an Ellsworth Republican, now proposes creating an online portal called the Maine Digital Learning Exchange… Roughly 50 Maine high schools are already taking part in a digital learning collaborative launched last fall that blends regular classroom instruction with online learning. 

BONUS LINK: Happy 205th birthday, Abraham Lincoln!  A beautiful presentation of the Lincoln Memorial can be found here.