Post-pandemic, where do education leaders go?

Education institutions have remained admirably fluid over the past year and a half through the rollercoaster of remote and hybrid learning and teaching environments–scaling systems, devices, and processes for a learn-from-anywhere structure.

These changes are working well for many. New data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) found that over half of institutional leaders plan to maintain “some or all of their emergency remote learning offerings via distance education after the pandemic.”

While the virtual learning model is largely beneficial for student continuity, K-12 districts and higher education institutions are increasingly targets for cyberattacks. Howard University and Allen Independent School District in Texas are just two recent examples.…Read More

As online education rules loom, a call for cooperation between states

A federal rule might force colleges to withdraw from states with small populations.

Members of an influential online-learning task force said states should create uniform standards for online colleges and universities, making it easier for institutions to comply with a federal rule that will prove costly and confusing to web-based schools.

The Education Department’s (ED) state authorization rule, scheduled to take effect July 1, would force online colleges to seek authorization from agencies in every state where their students are enrolled.…Read More

New online-learning rule could have worst impact on small states

Online college programs could face high registration fees in many states.

Colleges with online programs might withdraw from states, mostly in the northeast, that have small populations and stringent requirements for distance education courses when the Education Department’s (ED’s) “state authorization” regulation kicks in July 1.

Decision makers from online schools from across the country gathered March 28 at in Washington, D.C. for the annual Presidents’ Forum, hosted by web-based Excelsior College.…Read More

ED sticks by controversial rule; online college officials concerned

ED's regulation could shrink online education, officials say.

The Education Department (ED) said in a March 17 letter that it would not rescind a controversial new rule requiring online schools that operate nationwide to register with every state in which they have students.

Educators and ed-tech officials said the regulation—known as the state-authorization rule—will mandate the burdensome task of state-by-state certification, imposing a financial strain on web-based colleges that could be passed down to students.…Read More

Fed rule could have ‘major chilling effect’ on online instruction

A proposed federal rule could cripple many online education programs.

Colleges that offer online instruction nationwide would have to get approval from every state in which they operate, or those online courses could be shut down, after the Education Department (ED) proposed a controversial rule that has drawn the ire of educators and distance-education organizations.

The regulation, known as the state-authorization rule, is scheduled to take effect July 1.…Read More

Parents get help in choosing an online learning program

The guide explains that online learning programs are diverse, and comparing them is often like comparing apples to oranges.
The guide explains that online learning programs are diverse, and comparing them is often like comparing apples to oranges.

A new guide offers parents a roadmap in their quest to find the right online-learning program for their child.

“A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Online Program,” written by John Watson and Butch Gemin of the Evergreen Education Group and Marla Coffey, a distance education consultant at the University of Maryland University College, is part of the Promising Practices in Online Learning series from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).…Read More

College dean adds human touch to distance education

Douglas E. Hersh, dean of educational programs and technology at Santa Barbara City College, believes video technology might hold the key to solving an old problem that has plagued distance education since its beginnings, USA Today reports: the retention gap. Hersh believes that one major reason students are more likely to drop out of online programs than traditional ones is the lack of human touch in distance-ed programs. His solution is to incorporate more video into the course-delivery mechanism. Most professors who teach online already incorporate short video and audio clips into their courses, according to a 2009 survey by the Campus Computing Project. But it is rarer, Hersh says, for professors to use video of themselves to teach or interact with their online students—largely because the purveyors of major learning-management systems do not orient their platforms to feature that method of delivery. That’s why Hersh convinced Santa Barbara in 2008 to abandon Blackboard in favor of Moodle’s open-source platform, which he used to build the “Human Presence Learning Environment.” The interface is designed so professors can deliver lessons and messages using videos recorded with a webcam. It also shows students who among their instructors or classmates are logged into Skype, the video-chat service, in case they want to have a live, face-to-face conversation. Hersh says he is talking with other California community colleges to adopt the platform and will gladly give it away to any other institutions that want to use it…

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Distance Learning Resource Network brings help close to home

https://www.wested.org/

Sponsored by WestEd, this site should supply anything you need to know about distance learning. The site includes research reports, articles, examples of successful K-12 distance education programs, resources for planning your own program, even information about distance learning grants. There’s also a Distance Teaching Resource Guide and a list of college and K-12 courses taught online through other institutions.

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