Proven AP Results Driven by Quality Teachers and Design:

Survey of Schools Working with The Virtual High School Finds Widespread Success

 

Boston — Aug. 31, 2015 —With online learning reshaping the face of education,some educators express fear about the shift to e-learning courses and whether they are producing the desired results for their students. However, a recent national survey of schools working with The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofitempowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, demonstrates that the outcomes of skillfully-developed virtual courses lay those fears to rest. Thesurvey found that 95 percent of the teachers, students and administratorsparticipating were satisfied with online education offered through VHS.

The evaluation of VHS schools also revealed that 68 percent of VHS students that sat for an Advanced Placement® exam passed with a score of three or higher, almost 10 percent more than the national average.  Additional findings accentuated a 93 percent retention rate of VHS members, an 88 percent student pass rate at the end of the program’s 2014 courses and an average 80 percent course completion rate from 2012 to 2014.

“All VHS courses are thoughtfully-developed with input from content experts and experienced teachers to support key content and skill development, ” said Kim Spangenberg, Associate Dean of STEM of VHS. “Our AP® curriculum is carefully paced and designed to engage students in a variety of activities using diverse media. This allows students to interact with content in multiple ways each week. Also, VHS AP® classes are taught by highly qualified instructors and provide ample opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge, practice skills and employ feedback from their peers as well as their teacher.”

VHS AP® classes provide access to college-level coursework for students who would otherwise not have the opportunity due to budget restrictions, scheduling conflicts and/or lack of qualified teachers. The online courses often help districts serve students who may be interested in advanced level study in a particular subject but constitute too small a group to meet the minimum threshold for offering the class within the district.

VHS AP® courses also keep students engaged by serving as a platform to connectthem with peers across the country and around the world in a collaborative learning environment. Throughout their study, students from diverse backgrounds share their thoughts, experiences and opinions with peers. Likewise, the AP® course content includes a variety of resources for students to explore as well as vibrant class discussions, hands-on lab work for science courses and intriguing projects.

“VHS students gain a sense of community within their classroom as they interact with their peers and their teacher on a regular basis,” said Carol Ribeiro, President & CEO of VHS. “Students are expected to attend class regularly, participate in discussions weekly, share work and provide feedback to their peers. Through regular collaborative activities, students get to know their peers and their teacher, and feel comfortable sharing thoughts, asking questions and challenging ideas within their course. They not only become comfortable with working collaboratively but they also remain deeply engaged with the coursework. That engagement helps lead to better scores.”

VHS is home to one of the largest catalogs of online AP® courses with more than 20AP® options. As the AP® catalog has grown, VHS students have regularly surpassed the national average pass rate, so additional courses and sections are often added tofurther meet the demands of students looking to prepare further for college.

About The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides middle and high school online courses for students and professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning.  The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call(978) 897-1900.

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Mimio Launches Fall 2015 Webinar Series for Administrators and Teachers

 

Sessions to Focus on Acquiring, Understanding, and Applying Mobile and Classroom Technology

 

Cambridge, MA Aug. 31, 2015 – Mimio, developer of the MimioClassroom™ family of interactive teaching technologies, today announced the fall schedule for its popular webinar series. The 45-minute sessions are free and designed to help teachers and administrators acquire information or best-practice skills on a host of topics: how to acquire funding for classroom technology, the science behind technology’s positive effects on learning, practical tips for improving engagement and collaboration, and facilitating real-time assessment.

 

“The webinar series will provide school administrators and teachers with tips and streamlined processes for acquiring and effectively implementing classroom technology,” said Dan Winkler, Mimio’s chief technology officer. “To accommodate attendees’ busy schedules, each of the sessions will be offered twice, on two separate dates, with a 4:30 p.m. ET starting time. Participants will learn from experts like Dr. Roland Rios and Dr. Jenny House. Rios, the director of technology for the Ft. Sam Houston Independent School District in San Antonio, was named the 2012 TCEA State Technology Administrator of the Year and was among TechSmith’s 2013 ‘20 to Watch in Educational Technology.’ In addition to her current position as president and principal of RedRock Reports, an educational funding consultancy, House has worked as a teacher, site and district administrator, and manager in the industry. She has also held positions at HP, Apple Computer, Classroom Connect, and Tenth Planet.

 

Mimio’s fall 2015 professional development webinar series includes the following:

 

Why You Should Fall in Love with Your Classroom Mobile Devices

This webinar shows teachers how to make mobile devices into a powerful educational resource. Dr. Roland Rios will provide tips and suggestions for using the collaboration, assessment, and teacher-control features of the MimioMobile™ app. The webinar will take place on the following dates:

– Tuesday, September 8

– Thursday, November 19

 

How to Get the Funding You Need for the Technology You Want

During this webinar, educational funding expert Dr. Jenny House will discuss the federal, state, and private funds available now to help teachers obtain classroom technology, from laptops to IWBs. She will also focus on the key funding issues educators should consider as they purchase products to support their 2015-16 programs. Attendees will get a quick overview of the funding landscape and will have the opportunity to ask questions pertinent to their own regions or funding needs. The webinar will take place on the following dates:

– Thursday, September 24

– Thursday, October 22

 

The Research Behind Why Technology in the Classroom Really Works

Educators often wonder whether the investment in classroom technology is really worth it and whether it even works. In this webinar, Dan Winkler, Mimio’s chief technology officer, and Christopher Leonardo, the head of Mimio’s research and development department, will explore the science behind why technology implementation can successfully increase engagement and learning. Participants will also learn how they can do this in their own districts or school classrooms. The webinar will take place on the following dates:

– Tuesday, October 6

– Thursday, December 10

 

5 Tips to Make Your Lessons More Engaging and More Effective

In this webinar, participants will learn simple techniques that make their lessons more effective. Lindy George, an instructional technology specialist for the Collier County Public Schools district in Florida, and Claire Pavia, a third-grade teacher at Hinckley-Big Rock Elementary School in Illinois, will share instructional design ideas that make students’learning experience much more interactive, that encourage student engagement and collaboration, and that facilitate assessment. The webinar will take place on the following dates:

– Tuesday, November 3

– Tuesday, December 1

 

About Mimio

Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies that offer a better way to learn and an empowering way to teach. A portfolio company of Skyview Capital, Mimio creates award-winning, innovative, and affordable hardware and software that increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit www.mimio.com. Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/Mimio.Technology.

 

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Learning First Alliance Executive Director Cheryl Scott Williams Announces Retirement  
(August 31, 2015 – Alexandria, VA) – Learning First Alliance Executive Director Cheryl Scott Williams announced her retirement from the organization on Dec. 31, 2015. Williams has led the Alliance, a coalition of 15 national education organizations, since 2010.

LFA’s Executive Board has organized a search committee, chaired by National School Boards Association Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel, which has hired Strategic Performance Group to facilitate the search.
“Cheryl Williams has very capably brought together the LFA member organizations to advance teaching and learning in public schools across the country,” said Stephanie Hirsh, the 2015-16 LFA President and Executive Director of Learning Forward.  “On behalf of the LFA member groups, we wish Cheryl the best in her retirement, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration and commitment to public education.”
During Williams’ tenure, the Alliance led a communications campaign to change the narrative around public education and the professionals who work in the public education system.  As part of that initiative LFA hosted a blog series on Education Week and created presentation tools to support the campaign.  Under Williams’ leadership for the past two years, LFA has led the Get It Right: Common Sense on the Common Core, a national campaign showcasing the need for time, support and resources to implement college and career ready standards and the schools, districts, and educators who are using effective strategies in implementation of that major school improvement initiative.
Williams is a nationally recognized leader in education reform and improvement through development of collaborative working teams among and within large education organizations.  Prior to working with LFA, Williams served as a senior consultant at APQC. She was previously Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Teachscape, a San Francisco-based company that designs and delivers online, job-embedded professional development for teachers and principals. She also worked as Vice President, Education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and as Director of Education Technology Programs at NSBA.  She began her career in education as a classroom teacher of middle and high school English.
Working with the LFA Search Committee, Strategic Performance Group has begun its search for the organization’s next executive.
“The Learning First Alliance serves a critical role in convening major education organizations in Washington,” Gentzel said. “The work and relationships cultivated within LFA help advance research and best practices in public education and provide an invaluable service to its members as well as local school officials across the country.”

Strategic Performance Group (SPG), a management consulting firm based in Vienna, Va., is a group of organization development specialists and industrial psychologists that specializes in assisting nonprofits with talent acquisition and management. Partner Christina L. Greathouse will facilitate the search for LFA. Interested candidates should send their résumé in the strictest confidence to:

Christina L. Greathouse, Ph.D.
Partner, Strategic Performance Group
About The Learning First Alliance

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Alliance members include: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; AASA: The School Superintendents Association; American Federation of Teachers; American School Counselor Association; ASCD; Consortium for School Networking;  International Society for Technology in Education; Learning Forward; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Education Association; National PTA; National School Boards Association; National School Public Relations Association; and Phi Delta Kappa International.

To learn more about LFA, visit www.learningfirst.org.
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