Wednesday, April 27th
NECC-NYCC Virtual Education Summit

State Meeting: MA and RI

MA: Connie Louie, Madeline Levine, Gail Ross-McBride, Jenny Curtin Caldwell, Susan Hargrave, Tim Callahan
RI: Holly Walsh, Michael Ferry
Robin Ahigian and Carol Keirstead, Facilitators
Consultant Participants: Barbara Treacy, Bette Manchester, Liz Pape

  • Discussion of policy goals was centered on the need to inform policy makers about virtual education. Participants feel that most policy makers lack the requisite knowledge about virtual education to formulate effective policies.
  • So then, how do we educate policy makers so that they can make good decisions?
  • We will need to make sure that they understand how virtual education can help states meet their education goals.
  • We also need to think about educating SEA staff and local leaders.
  • We need to look across policies to see where virtual education can and should be integrated in a way that is coherent. These include seat time, minutes required, teacher of record, endorsements, program approval, credit award, licensure.
  • Need to keep it focused on teaching and learning - curriculum, instruction and assessment. And on the learner.
  • Need to look into policy for special education students and online learning.
  • Whatever we do, it needs to be Common Core based, include digital literacy, and support personalized learning.
  • Don Lew of UCONN was recommended as a knowledge source for digital literacy.
  • Susan Patrick would be excellent to help provide content and interest among Board members.

Action Items:
How do we educate policy makers?
  • We should offer them an online course that will provide them with opportunity to learn about virtual education.
  • Need to be sure that we model what we want them to know about virtual education
  • SHould use the Universal Design for Learning principles
  • We should first identify the competencies we want board members to have
  • Need to make it bite sized, in a format that they will commit to.
  • Southern Region Education Board has done some work on this. We should check into what they have.
  • What we need to do is: develop the course, create buy-in, and then run the course. We will need to ensure we have skilled facilitators - online and board savvy.
  • Who is it for? State and local board members ifrst. Could also be used with SEA senior staff, legislators, local leaders.
  • Carol asked Susan Patrick if she would work with us on this and she said she would.

We drafted an initial set of competencies to get us started: State policy makers will:
  • Be knowledgeable about how virtual education can be used to support state education goals
  • Be able to describe forms and types of virtual education
  • Examine policies to identify enablers and obstacles for using virtual education
  • Understand how students can benefit from virtual education
  • Experience and reflect about online learning