<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11995360\x26blogName\x3dAERA+Rural+Education+SIG\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://ruralsig.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://ruralsig.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-3731640703024455465', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Sunday, April 19, 2009

 

Repost: Rural 21st Century Learning!

Okay, I came across this podcast some time ago, but only had the chance to listen to it yesterday on the flight back from San Diego and AERA 2009. Take the 20 minutes, as it is worth it to listen to the principal from this innovative, rural charter school.
Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center is a public charter school on a mission to promote rural family farm values, while developing 21st century skills in it’s learners. School projects are tied to...

Find out more...

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

 

AERA 2009 - Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools

Crossposted from http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/aera-2009-barriers-to-distance-education-in-rural-schools/.

Okay, the last two or three entries related to the K-12 Online Learning Presentations at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in San Diego. The first one of Thursday was part of a session entitled Distance Education in Rural Contexts and it was delivered by folks from the National Research Center on Rural Education:

Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools

Schedule Information:
Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 16 - 12:25pm - 1:55pm Building/Room: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina / Newport Beach
In Session: Distance Education in Rural Contexts

Authors:
Matthew J. Irvin (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)
Wallace Hannum (University of North Carolina)
Claire de la Varre (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)

Abstract: This investigation examined barriers to distance education (DE) as perceived by rural school administrators in 417 districts randomly selected from the 2004-2005 Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP). This study is the first to examine rural schools’ barriers to DE and related factors (district characteristics, course subjects, delivery format, student preparation, course completion, and satisfaction with DE). Results indicate that barriers are most consistently related to district characteristics, course subjects, delivery format, student preparation, and satisfaction with DE. Results suggest that rural schools with district and personnel barriers need to address other related issues to ensure successful DE efforts. Additional implications and suggestions for dealing with these barriers and issues will be discussed.

This presentation was based on an article that these individuals had published earlier in:

Hannum, W. H., Irvin, M. J., Banks, J. B., & Farmer,T. W. (2009). Distance education use in rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 24(3). Retrieved 17 April 2009 from http://jrre.psu.edu/articles/24-3.pdf

A couple of the main things that I took away from this presentation, was the order of the barriers found in their study. However, I digress a bit. This presentation was a survey study of 394 randomly selected rural schools from across the country (which was a 95% response rate) conducted in 2005.

In their responses, these rural districts indicated the following as barriers to K-12 distance education

  1. Not needed for curriculum requirements - 67.7% (District barrier)
  2. Lack of sufficient funding - 63.7% (District barrier)
  3. Problems scheduling - 58.7% (Logistical barrier)
  4. Not a district priority - 53.2% (District barrier)
  5. Personnel not trained to support - 46.8 (Personnel barrier)
  6. Difficult to implement - 45.2% (Logistical barrier)
  7. Do not have personnel to support - 33.7% (Personnel barrier)
  8. Difficulty finding courses needed - 31.1% (Logistical barrier)
  9. Not part of the strategic plan - 28.3% (District barrier)
  10. Lack of technical expertise - 17.1% (Personnel barrier)
  11. Lack of technology enhanced rooms - 15.1% (Technology barrier)
  12. Technology inadequately maintained - 9.5% (Technology barrier)
  13. Insufficient connectivity - 7.4% (Technology barrier)

A couple of take aways for me from this list and the presenters discussion of it. The first is that three of the top four barriers were classified as “district barriers” or things that the district had or had not done that prevented or made implementing distance education difficult for these schools. The second thing that really stood out to me was that the three technology barriers were all at the very bottom of the list, which seems to me to indicate that state and federal programs in the United States have done an adequate job in providing the necessary computer technology and connectivity/bandwidth to access distance education opportunities.

Anyway, you should be able to access both their paper and their PowerPoint slides soon at the National Research Center on Rural Education website:

http://www.nrcres.org/

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

AERA 2009 - Distance Education in Rural Contexts

Crossposted from http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/aera-2009-distance-education-in-rural-contexts/.

Okay, this is the last post I will be making from the 2009 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, as all of the K-12 Online Learning Presentations have been made. This final post details the comments made by the discussant regarding the final two presentations: Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools and Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education. The actual session was:

Distance Education in Rural Contexts

Sponsor:
SIG-Rural Education

Schedule Information:
Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 16 - 12:25pm - 1:55pm Building/Room: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina / Newport Beach
Title Displayed in Event Calendar: Distance Education in Rural Contexts

Session Participants:
Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools
*Matthew J. Irvin (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill), Wallace Hannum (University of North Carolina), Claire de la Varre (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)
Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education
*Dennis M. Mulcahy (Memorial University - Newfoundland), *Michael Kristopher Barbour (Wayne State University)
Distance, Climate, Demographics, and the Development of Online Courses in Newfoundland and Labrador
*Scott Reid (University of Ottawa)
Teacher’s Experiences of Rural School Reorganization
*Catherine Savage (Victoria University, Australia)

Discussant: Kevin Patrick Brady (North Carolina State University)
Chair: Michael Kristopher Barbour (Wayne State University)

As I mentioned above, you can see some of the information about the first two at Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools and Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education. The description of the third and fourth presentations were:

Distance, Climate, Demographics, and the Development of Online Courses in Newfoundland and Labrador

One of the assertions of the Actor Network Theory is that physical factors can be actors within a network of other factors which determine the development and use of technology. This paper documents the impact of climate, distance and demographics on the adoption of online courses at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. The qualitative study demonstrates that these physical factors did influence professor’s decisions to use online courses. The findings support the Actor Network Theory and provide insight into the interaction of physical and human actors within a network that facilitated the adoption of online courses at the university being studied.

Teacher’s Experiences of Rural School Reorganization

An oversupply of rural schools in some areas increases the likelihood of school mergers to create more efficient and effective provision of schooling. This research investigated a rural school reorganization led by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. Interviews with 6 teachers were held on three separate occasions throughout 10 months of the reorganization process. The interviews were analysed using content analysis and conclusions were reached using an inductive method of categorising. The impact of reorganization on teacher’s personal and professional lives is significant and unique to the process of change. Further research in policy design and implementation is required to ensure future rural school reorganizations are successful.

The discussant’s comments were focused, as he mentioned a couple of overall themes and them provided each of the presenters with some specific feedback.

In discussing the first K-12 Online Learning Presentations, Barriers to Distance Education in Rural Schools, the discussant was pleased to see that the general availability in rural areas was high - particularly in North Carolina, where both the presenters and the discussants were from. It was particularly promising to see that technology issues were rated as very low, something which the discussant attributed to the various federal and state programs that have been put in place to bring Internet access to rural communities. In beginning to transition to his discussion of my own paper, he specifically noted a personnel barriers (although not one of the ones brought up by the presenters) - the need or difficulty in getting highly qualified teachers and administrators in rural areas and how the distance education to provide access to these personnel lacks from of the personal connection, so distance teachers have to work harder to build relationships with students and schools.

In his discussion of my paper, Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education, he spoke about the fact that local personnel is critical to the successful implementation of any program, distance education or otherwise. And that having good local personnel is largely dependent upon providing proper professional development and an adequate commitment of time for that personnel.

As the other two presentations did not deal with K-12 Online Learning I did not take notes for his comments about them - but if you’re reading this Kevin feel free to add them in the comments area.

Overall, the discussant felt that all four presentations showed great promise for distance education as a way to meet the challenges facing rural schools. He also felt that more research was needed into the personnel barriers, as he felt that they were both complex and multifaceted.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

AERA 2009 - Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education

Crossposted from http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/aera-2009-beyond-volunteerism-and-good-will-examining-the-commitment-of-school-based-teachers-to-distance-education/.

The last K-12 Online Learning Presentations at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association was one of my own:

Beyond Volunteerism and Good Will: Examining the Commitment of School-Based Teachers to Distance Education

Schedule Information:
Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 16 - 12:25pm - 1:55pm Building/Room: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina / Newport Beach
In Session: Distance Education in Rural Contexts

Authors:
Dennis M. Mulcahy (Memorial University - Newfoundland)
Michael Kristopher Barbour (Wayne State University)

Abstract: Two decades ago Newfoundland and Labrador introduced distance education in the K-12 environment. The program focused upon providing advanced-level courses to rural school students, and worked largely due to the widely known, but rarely documented significant amounts of content-based assistance from school based personnel. In the past seven years the province has moved to a virtual school model of distance education and more rural schools find that they must rely upon this virtual school to offer academic-level courses to students with a wide range of abilities. This has created many new responsibilities for teachers that have also gone undocumented. This study will begin to document the duties and time required to provide support for this new models of distance education.

As I was the one delivering this, I don’t have notes to share. But you can access the PowerPoint slides of my presentation at:

http://www.michaelbarbour.com/research/pubs/aera-2009_m-teacher.pdf

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

 

AERA 2009 - Rurality and Virtual School Environments: An Analysis of Student and Teacher Expectations

Crossposted from http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/aera-2009-rurality-and-virtual-school-environments-an-analysis-of-student-and-teacher-expectations/.

As I mentioned in the previous entry (see AERA 2009 - Virtual School Student Performance in a Rural and Remote Jurisdiction), I didn’t get much of Kevin’s session, but I did get his hand-out and had a quick conversation related to his roundtable.

Rurality and Virtual School Environments: An Analysis of Student and Teacher Expectations

Schedule Information:
Scheduled Time: Wed, Apr 15 - 12:25pm - 1:05pm Building/Room: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina / Marriott Hall Salon 4
In Session: Rurality, Community, and Education

Authors:
Kevin Patrick Brady (North Carolina State University)
Kevin M. Oliver (North Carolina State University)
Ruchi Patel (North Carolina State University)
Jason W. Osborne (North Carolina State University)

Abstract: A mixed methods evaluation was conducted of the new North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) analyzing student and teacher expectations in virtual school environments. In this proposal, special attention is given to the impact of rurality on student and teacher expectations associated with virtual schools. North Carolina is currently one of twelve states where rural children comprise a majority of the students attending the state’s public elementary and secondary schools. Based on this proposal, study findings can be used to establish the expectations for online teachers and students taking online courses as well as help design effective professional development experiences that adequately prepare teachers to undertake divergent roles unique to online instruction in rural communities.

In the survey they completed, there were only three of the thirteen statements were there was a statistically significant difference between the urban and rural responses.

  • Administrators at my school are enthusiastic to promote NCVPS and LEO to the benefit of student’s 21st Century education
  • My school emphasizes how online courses can be accommodating for different knowledge levels.
  • Coaching and student support on efficiency and online course management is adequate at my school.

In all three instances the mean response from the rural participants was higher than the urban participants.

If any of the presenters are reading this and they want to add more, feel free to add it in the comments area - cause I know this is very bare bones based on about five minutes of conversation.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

AERA 2009 - Virtual School Student Performance in a Rural and Remote Jurisdiction

Crossposted from http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/aera-2009-virtual-school-student-performance-in-a-rural-and-remote-jurisdiction/.

Still with the oddness of the day, I missed most of Kevin’s roundtable session, Rurality and Virtual School Environments: An Analysis of Student and Teacher Expectations (although I did get some notes from him), as again I had a roundtable of my own.

Virtual School Student Performance in a Rural and Remote Jurisdiction

Schedule Information:
Scheduled Time: Wed, Apr 15 - 12:25pm - 1:05pm Building/Room: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina / Marriott Hall Salon 4
In Session: Rurality, Community, and Education

Authors:
Dennis M. Mulcahy (Memorial University - Newfoundland)
Michael Kristopher Barbour (Wayne State University)

Abstract: As out-migration continues to ravage rural regions in Newfoundland and Labrador, more rural schools are relying upon the province’s virtual high school to offer courses students require simply in order to graduate. The concern is that virtual school, and K-12 distance education in general, has been shown to be an effect alternative for a select group of students. With a wider range of students forced into this largely independent learning environment, research must be undertaken to ensure that all students are being accommodating. This study proposes to address this gap by examining student enrollment patterns and performance levels in virtual schooling in the province’s most remote school district.

As I was the one delivering this, I don’t have notes to share. But you can access the PowerPoint slides of my presentation at:

http://www.michaelbarbour.com/research/pubs/aera_2009-lsd.pdf

More from the 2009 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association regarding the K-12 online learning presentations (see here and here) in a moment.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,