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SpeakUp Survey Deadline Extended Until January 21

Since 2003, over 1.85 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual Speak Up National Research Project which collects and reports on the authentic, unfiltered views and opinions of K-12 students, parents and educators on critical 21st century education issues.

Now it’s your turn to share your ideas and opinions in a national online survey! It’s easy to participate:

  • Visit www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2010.
  • Choose the appropriate survey.
  • Choose West Virginia from the drop down list.
  • Enter “w” in the school name text box to search for the entry for the WV Virtual School.
  • Choose WV Virtual School.
  • Enter global21 as the secret word.
  • Complete the survey! 

Online surveys will be open through January 21, 2011.


Online Professional Development Opportunity
The 2010 Global Education Conference will be held November 15 - 19, 2010, online and free.  Details about the conference are available at http://www.globaleducationconference.com.  The conference currently has scheduled 50 keynote addresses and over 300 general sessions  from 62 countries.  Sessions will be held in multiple time zones focusing on teachers, students, curriculum, policy and leadership and global issues. The conference is a collaborative and world-wide community effort to significantly increase opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives. There is no formal registration required for the conference and all the sessions will be open and public.


Free Electronic Field Trip

The National Park Foundation sponsors a series of free electronic field trips to educators and students. the next field trip, North Cascades National Park Climate Challenge, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Electronic field trips give students the opportunity to learn about a particular topic through national parks they may never get a chance to visit. Each EFT consists of two components: a televised broadcast (viewable online) from a national park featuring National Park Service Rangers and youth hosts and a website featuring downloadable lesson plans for teachers and interactive games for students. The broadcast and the website complement each other and teach with rich imagery and content in three different modalities.

North Cascades National Park Climate Challenge will teach students about climate change through a visit to North Cascades National Park. This park sits in the state of Washington on its border with Canada and is home to 9,000 foot tall mountains and over one-third of the remaining glaciers in the lower 48 United States. With its northerly location and high elevation, it is already experiencing the effects of climate change. Located in a wilderness area, impacts in the park are not isolated to its boundaries. Its rainfall and annual snow pack feed several major watersheds in the region, one of which produces hydroelectricity that accounts for up to 25% of the power usage of Seattle, WA.

For more information about this and future electronic field trips, visit the National Park Foundation website at http://www.nationalparks.org/npf-at-work/our-programs/electronic-field-trip/.


Virtual Learning Strand at the Statewide Technology Conference

The annual Statewide Technology Conference convenes on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. The focus of this year's conference is "The Cloud: Where Creative Minds Meet". Concurrent sessions in a variety of topics related to fully online and blended learning are scheduled, including:

  • Facilitation 101: Tips and Tricks for Virtual Course Facilitators
  • Always OPEN! 24/7 Learning Through Blended Delivery
  • Virtual Fieldtrip: Project Patagonia
  • Online Learning Objects to support High School Instruction
  • Mentoring Online Students: Strategies for Student Success
  • WV Virtual School - 10 Years Young

Hope to see you there!


Virtual Cisco Networking Academy Launched

As networking technologies bring new economic and social opportunities to communities throughout the world, businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and government organizations are experiencing growing demand for networking professionals to design, build, maintain, and secure their networks.

The goal of the Virtual Cisco Networking Academy is to equip West Virginia students with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to help meet this demand in a variety of industries ranging from broadband and wireless to healthcare and green technologies. The program is designed to serve students in schools where the demand is too low to support a local academy. Now every school in West Virginia can provide its students access to high quality, low cost courses leading to national certification. (read more)


Virtual Learning Strand at the Statewide Technology Conference

The Statewide Technology Conference opened with a flourish on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 with a video welcome from Sen. Jay Rockefeller and presentations by Mark Seifert, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Cindy Southworth, Director of Safety Net. Concurrent sessions in a variety of topics related to fully online and blended learning are scheduled. For information about these sessions and copies of speakers' handouts and presentations, revisit the WVVS website throughout the week.


Summer Professional Development Offered

This summer, the West Virginia Virtual School is hosting Click and Mortar: Blended Delivery Course Development, a week-long professional development opportunity for classroom teachers who would like to enhance and extend their "brick and mortar" classroom with a quality, online component. Participants will explore the WVLearns eLearning platform in depth as they develop a web-based companion for a course they currently teach in a more traditional fashion. Topics include instructional design, integration of statewide technology resources and online activities, utilization of assessment and feedback tools, and supporting online communications. Participants will have plenty of time to plan and develop content for their own course.

View the details of the workshop and submit your application early. Only 30 teachers will be selected for the first cadre.


Megyesi Named Outstanding Online Teacher

Anna MegyesiAnna Megyesi is an experienced Spanish teacher in her second year with the West Virginia Virtual School. She has undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Anthropology and a Masters degree from the School for International Training. Anna has lived, worked and studied in Colombia, Spain and Brazil. Anna was selected to receive the 2008-09 SREB Online Teacher Recognition for West Virginia based on her love of languages, passion for teaching, enthusiastic embrace of new and emerging technologies and instructional techniques, and dedication to integrating technology and language teaching. Anna also served as a presenter at the 2008 American Council of Foreign Language Teachers Association Conference.


Online Students Learn More Than Peers

Students in an online, self-paced version of a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee introductory psychology class scored about 12% higher on the same cumulative test as their peers in a traditional lecture version of the class. The online version appeared especially helpful for disadvantaged students and those with lower grades, the study found.