CompetencyWorks 2013-02-01 – Creating Systems of Assessments

In 2011, the Proficiency-based Pathways project was launched with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with eight other schools, Casco Bay High School (Maine) with its partner Expeditionary Learning and Vergennes Union High School (Vermont) were selected to participate, sharing their learning as they further developed their models. The findings from Proficiency-based Pathways are shared in the report Making Mastery Work: A Close-Up View of Competency Education ( published by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. During the webinar you will learn about the process that Casco Bay High School and Expeditionary Learning used in developing their 2.0 assessment system, the overall structure and an in depth look at the assessment tools utilized, and how Vergennes Union High School set out to accelerate its movement toward having its set of Performance Based Graduation Requirement fully implemented for 2016.

CompetencyWorks 2013-01-31 – Aligning Competencies with the Common Core

Two years ago the Boston Day and Evening Academy was faced with a challenge: How would they transition their well-developed competency education system to the new standards of the Common Core? They were determined to do it in a way that honored the school’s deep commitment to responding to the wide variation in the academic skills and credits of their students. Join CompetencyWorks and iNACOL for a webinar to learn about how Boston Day and Evening Academy, a school designed to serve over-age and undercredited students, aligned their competencies to the Common Core State Standards. You will also hear about hos BDEA has fine-tuned its practices to accelerate learning for students with a wide differentiation of skills and credits.

iNACOL 2013-02-13 – Federal and State Policy: What Is Needed for Digital Learning?

Federal and state education policies play an important role in removing barriers and enabling new models of competency-based, online and blended learning. Learn more about the leading federal issues that must be addressed in 2013, including the road ahead for ESEA reauthorization. Top state policy issues around online and blended learning will also be covered. Not sure what your role is in advocacy and lawmaker education? Two of the nation’s leading experts on digital education policy at both the federal and state level will provide an overview, recommendations and strategies for taking action. Speakers: John Bailey, Executive Director, Digital Learning Now! Susan Patrick, President & CEO, iNACOL

CompetencyWorks 2013-02-13 – Student Experience: Pacing and Personalization

This webinar looks at two very different models structured around the concept of progress upon mastery. The Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy (MPTPA) in Hartford, CT is part of the National Center for Education and the Economy’s Excellence for All network. In this initiative, students must demonstrate qualifying scores on examinations that are aligned with research-based college readiness standards. Once students have achieved qualifying exam scores, they can move on to a range of possible pathways. Here, we hear insights from MPTPA about what needs to be in place to support students within this structure. Then we hear from Schools for the Future (SFF) about their self-paced model designed for 8th graders that have been retained and with significant skill gaps, accelerating their learning so that they are fully college and career ready. SFF has four performance levels to graduation, modularized curriculum, and blended learning instructional delivery model.

CompetencyWorks 2013-02-26 – Spanning the Grades – A Look at ES, MS and HS Competency-based Models

Join district and school leadership of MSAD 15 in Gray-New Gloucester, ME for a conversation about their experience in implementing proficiency-based education. Gray-New Gloucester began the process of transforming their district to a student-centered, proficiency-based model starting at the elementary school level and have proceeded to implement proficiency-based practices in their middle and high school. Speakers: – Bruce Beasley, Superintendent, MSAD 15 – Karen Caprio, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development, MSAD 15 – Ephraim Weisstein, Consultant to the Proficiency-based Pathways Project and co-author Making Mastery Work: A Close-Up View of Competency Education

CompetencyWorks 2013-02-28 – Re-Engineering for Competency Education – IT Design Considerations

“Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education” – the latest briefing paper from CompetencyWorks – analyzes and examines components and elements of effective competency-based information systems. Join iNACOL’s Susan Patrick and Liz Glowa, the report’s author, for a conversation based on interviews and research behind the ideas in Re-Engineering Information Technology to build upon the lessons learned in analyzing information systems developed by competency education innovators, best practices of systemic approaches to information management, and emerging opportunities. Speakers: – Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL – Liz Glowa, Glowa Counsulting

iNACOL 2013-03-13 – Louisiana’s Course Choice Program – A Model for Other States

Louisiana Course Choice is a new Louisiana Department of Education administered program that will be in full operation beginning in the 2013-14 school year in order to better meet the needs of all students and prepare more students to be college and career-ready. The purpose of the Louisiana Course Choice Program is to provide access to a range of courses for use by schools and students across Louisiana, including online, face-to-face, and blended courses. Louisiana is revolutionizing education — Course Choice will offer “a la carte” school choice to Louisiana students and families… one course at a time.

CompetencyWorks 2013-05-17 – How State Educational Leaders Are Advancing Competency Education

This webinar highlights findings from iNACOL’s new report through the CompetencyWorks initiative, Necessary for Success: A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education, and will allow participants to hear directly from two state education leaders about their experiences and insights in advancing competency education where students advance upon mastery. We’ll hear about the theory of action driving Maine and Iowa’s efforts, how state leaders are building shared vision and creating innovation space. Leading the discussion will be Susan Patrick , President and CEO of iNACOL; Jason Glass , Director of the Iowa Department of Education; and Don Siviski , Superintendent of Instruction for the Maine Department of Education.

iNACOL 2013-07-25 E-Rate 101: Basics for Education Advocates

As the FCC prepares to issue its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and with the recent announcement of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, education stakeholders are starting to rev up advocacy to improve access to broadband for schools and inform policy makers of connectivity needs around E-Rate. Another driver for broadband adoption in schools is that, particularly in rural and poor areas, our nation’s schools are not ready to deliver online assessments by the 2014 deadline. Schools need high-speed Internet access for delivery of blended, online and digital learning strategies as they recognize the potential to personalize learning to close the achievement gap and get students college and career ready. Join education and broadband telecommunications leaders (including an official from the FCC and two former US Department of Education Directors of Educational Technology) for this first in a series of iNACOL E-Rate 101 webinars to educate and empower education advocates to engage in the E-Rate reform discussion.

iNACOL 2013-08-06 E-Rate 2.0: Defining Drivers and Capacity Needs

On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) hosted a webinar to explore recently announced plans to update the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program. As more schools adopt new learning models powered by blended and online learning, an updated E-Rate program will provide more opportunities for schools, libraries and other learning environments to secure essential broadband access for the country’s students. The webinar addressed the pressing need for schools and students to have improved access to high-speed Internet with upcoming online assessments in 2014. Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, said, “80 percent of U.S. schools do not have broadband Internet access sufficient to provide new learning models that ensure students graduate ready to face the challenges of a 21st century college or career environment. The United States is in the bottom half of developed nations for Internet access and speeds available to its citizens. It is vitally important that education leaders work with the FCC to strengthen and update the E-Rate program to make certain our students get the best start possible, regardless of where they learn.” In July, the FCC announced a proposal to modernize the E-Rate program to meet the educational needs of students and teachers. iNACOL, in partnership with leading education organizations, is committed to amplifying the voice of school leaders and policymakers throughout the country through this series of webinars dedicated to an examination of the E-Rate program and driving efforts to achieve a comprehensive update to this critical effort. Presenters: Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL Evan Marwell, CEO and Co-founder, Education Superhighway Susan Van Gundy, Associate Director for Assessment Technology, Achieve / PARCC Jennifer Davis, Director, CCSSO Innovation Lab Network

iNACOL 2013-08-20 ConnectED and E-Rate NPRM Q&A

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) presented the third in a series of webinars investigating the need for greater student access to broadband in schools. The webinar was moderated by Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, and featured Lisa Hone of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Richard Culatta, Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, and Peter Zamora, Director of Federal Relations for CCSSO. This presentation highlighted President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, with the goal to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the Internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years, and recent efforts to update the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program to provide more opportunities for schools, libraries and other learning environments to secure essential broadband access. In July, the FCC announced a proposal to modernize the E-Rate program to meet the educational needs of students and teachers. iNACOL, in partnership with leading education organizations, is committed to amplifying the voices of educators, school leaders and policymakers throughout the country through this series of webinars dedicated to an examination of the E-Rate program and driving efforts to achieve a comprehensive update to broadband infrastructure for learning. Presenters: – Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL – Lisa Hone, Deputy Division Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission – Richard Culatta, Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education – Peter Zamora, Director of Federal Relations, CCSSO

iNACOL 2013 Symposium – Monday – Leading Systems Change toward Student Centered Learning

Leading systems change in education requires creating room for innovation, setting a strong vision and creating collective capacity to manage transformation at all levels of the education system. This luncheon keynote panel will inspire and challenge our thinking on leading change as they share compelling stories of their successes and lessons learned toward the ultimate goal of dramatically improving learning environments at scale via personalized, student-centered learning. Their commitment to equity and excellence for our nation’s most challenged youth — with a central and nonnegotiable focus on students — shines through in their work to transform teaching and learning in schools. These leaders are managing different levels of systems change and are forging pathways to new learning models with the goal of significant advancements in learner growth and outcomes. Be inspired as the keynote panel engages in frank discussion, sharing their guiding vision and roadmaps for achieving their goal as leaders of systems change to bring mastery-based, personalized learning models to scale. Panelists: Russell Altenburg (moderator), Assistant Director, The Broad Foundation John Covington, Chancellor, Education Achievement Authority of Michigan Alex Hernandez, Partner, Charter School Growth Fund

iNACOL 2013 Symposium – Monday – President’s Welcome and Opening Keynote

Ten Year’s of Transformation (A Welcome) In the Fall of 2003, seventeen pioneering leaders formed what was then the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) with a vision for transforming K-12 education through online teaching and learning, fostering a landscape that promoted student success and lifelong learning. Just ten years later, hundreds of new learning models have taken root across the continuum of blended and online learning, with tools and resources transforming the way traditional classrooms differentiate instruction for each and every student. The next ten years offer even more of an unprecedented window of opportunity — in addition to new barriers and challenges — for this transformative shift toward student-centered learning. If we want those directing the future of education to act differently, we must get them to think differently. Working with innovators across the field, iNACOL’s annual symposium seeks to host thought-provoking discussions and unparalleled networking opportunities in order to share ideas and enable innovation to take hold in schools across the country and around the world. Susan Patrick will explore trends shaping the future of learning, reflect on success stories from the across field and spotlight early indicators identified in breakthrough new models using online, blended and competency-based environments. Driving an Innovative Policy Roadmap Toward the Transformation of Student Learning How are policy makers removing barriers and addressing goals to enable all students to leverage a variety of transformed learning experiences and environments (blending digital components and learning online — in and out of school) to ensure that they are ready for the world? As educators on the ground are driving the big idea of competency education, it is gaining traction in federal, state and local policy at all levels. From the federal Race to the Top district programs focused on personalization to state proficiency-based graduation requirements; district innovation zones; turnaround schools; and new school models using high-quality blended and online learning — competency-based education is a key theme bridging next generation learning approaches and student-centered learning. To meet the vision of competency-based education, policy makers and practitioners need to think differently about almost every aspect of our education system. Policy leaders from federal and state government will provide a vision of the future of policy toward student-centered learning — from addressing broadband infrastructure needs to policies that focus on competency development, rather than seat-time. Panelists will explore policy strategies and approaches to unleash innovation, improve technology infrastructure, provide better transparency of quality programs and create space for innovation.

iNACOL 2013-10-10 Planning, Implementation and Policy Considerations for Blended Learning

Two experts in the field of blended learning shared the importance of having a planned policy and support structure in place for any blended learning program to be successful. Greg Klein has been involved with Oakland Public Schools in the implementation of blended learning for many years and co-wrote the Oakland Unified case study where he identified critical success factors for blended learning adoption. More on this case study can be found on this website. Samantha Sherwood became a blended learning teacher several years ago and then helped open a blended learning school in New York Public Schools, where she now serves as the Assistant Principal. She researched the journey of a blended learning teacher as part of her Masters degree and has documented the characteristics and support systems needed for a successful blended learning teacher and a successful blended learning classroom. The presenters shared common elements needed for implementing a successful blended learning program as well as the policy considerations across a school or district that leads to success.

iNACOL 2013-11-13 Keeping Pace with Online and Blended Learning

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning tracks the latest policies, practices and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states. Join John Watson and Amy Murin — two co-authors of this essential annual report — for a discussion of key findings related to the growth of online and blended learning programs as well as an overview of policy changes across districts and states around the country. In preparation for this webinar, participants are encouraged to download and read the report at

iNACOL 2013 Symposium – Wednesday – Learning by Design: Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age

Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer, Kaplan Inc. How can we design the most effective instructional environments? How do we approach the transformation to student-centric learning using what learning science tells us to do, and not do, to enhance student success? In their new book, “Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age”, Hess and Saxberg offer that there’s never been a better time to be a “learning engineer” — working to apply what’s known about learning to the very real challenges of developing affordable, reliable, available, data-rich competency-based learning environments. Our educational leaders must take up the challenge to become empowered with “cage-busting leadership” in order to take on the laws, rules, and regulations that prevent them from implementing true transformational changes to our educational systems. Citing many examples of leaders who have busted out of the cage, Hess will illustrate how tough decisions can be made to provide the quality education we seek for our students. The crux of how to break down barriers, enable good teachers to do great work and provide students from all backgrounds equity and excellent opportunities to learn and thrive is at the heart of this discussion. Their book provides a framework, common language, and real-world examples of how to do just that. Saxberg is a researcher and visionary on digital learning’s ability to transform education. This keynote will both connect the dots between research on the best learning environments for how student learn and identify breakthrough tactics to overcome what stands in the way of the revolution toward student-centered learning. By design and through science, it is evident that digital learning offers solutions for transforming education around student-centered and highly personalized learning. Combining a solution-driven approach with strong “cage-busting” leadership will offer tremendous insights and tools for leaders committed to doing what is right for kids.

iNACOL 2013 Symposium – Tuesday – Student Plenary Panel

It is our great pleasure — in fact, our responsibility — to bring Symposium attendees a straightforward, student-driven conversation about online and blended learning, and to highlight educational issues informed by their perspectives on the ground. Each year, iNACOL invites a group of students — spanning grade levels — to come together at the Symposium to speak about their experiences, unfiltered — in an open discussion and dialog. Transforming education requires reflection and opportunities to build understanding through the eyes and experiences of the young people we ultimately serve. Please join us for what is one of the most inspiring discussions of each year’s conference — our conversation with students on reinventing the future of education.

iNACOL 2013-11-19 Blended Learning: A Look at the Transformation of K-12 Education in Idaho

Have you ever wondered if the money spent on technology and professional development really makes a difference in the lives of students? This webinar will present exciting evidence that change is happening through blended learning. We will explore the results of research conducted in Idaho with teachers who are using blended learning regarding academics, communication, motivation, and teacher practices. The discussion will focus on implications for classroom practice — including the barriers faced by those not yet using blended learning. Recommended reading: Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning: Barriers and Promising Practices –… Presenters: Eric Werth, Director of Education Programs, Northwest Nazarene University Eric Kellerer, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching at Learning, Northwest Nazarene University Sherawn Reberry, Director of Education Programs, Idaho Digital Learning Academy Niki Walker, Blended Program Manager, Idaho Digital Learning Academy