Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Home from Massachusetts School Accreditation Trip

Hey, y'all,

Last Tuesday night I returned home from 3 days spent in Maynard, Massachusetts. I was honored and pleased to have been invited to serve on an External Review Team for AdvancED, the accreditation body who this past Fall had reviewed my own online school and awarded us a 5 year accreditation based on final review numbers the lead evaluator called "statistical anomoly" due to their across-the-board superlative high ranges when compared to like schools internationally.

AdvancED is dedicated to helping schools improve, and on a vast scale. From their website's About page:
AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.
Combining the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change, we serve as a trusted partner to 32,000 schools and school systems—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations. AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2011.
 It was truly a learning experience for me, and I feel privileged to have worked so closely with the team chosen to review and recommend accreditation for The Virtual High School in Maynard, an organization providing learning opportunities to students worldwide utilizing a unique model to do so for nearly 20,000 students in 47 states and 34 countries. Thanks to Wendy Amato; Marcel Monnar; and Donna Richardson, team Lead Evaluator, for their collegial collaboration and to everyone at VHS for their gracious hospitality and openness through the process!

Here's hoping for some relief up there from the incredible winter they have experienced. It was 15 degrees Fahrenheit our last morning, and though streets are clear there's still plenty of snow on the ground, up to 4 or 5 feet in places.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tweet Feed for Friday's Keynote and Session at NYSCATE Digital Wave in West Seneca, NY!

Here it is!

Working Outside the Space Outside the Space Outside of the Box--

I just returned home from what I'm calling a "drive-by keynote." I flew out of Nashville early yesterday morning with a short connection in Philadelphia, had dinner with my dear buddy Andy Wheelock in Fredonia, NY, slept two doors down from his lovely home in a beautiful bed and breakfast (Edwards Waterhouse Inn), had breakfast with his two wonderful daughters, rode the 45 minutes with him to West Seneca, delivered my 45 minute keynote, attended Andy's GREAT session "60 Google Apps in 60 minutes," served up a technology-challenged but well attended/received session on 3D Virtual Learning Environments, and flew home, taking a break to enjoy dinner at Wolfgang Puck's in the Chicago airport. I sit here pretty durned pleased that the twitrecord will show (search #outtheboxdw15) the keynote was fun and informative and inspiring and not just for me. Andy streamed it over Google Hangouts, so...

Thanks, NYSCATE and all those dedicated teachers bringing good change to Western NY. It starts with you!

And here's a link to the .pdf version of my presentation.
All the videos included in it can be viewed in the "video" folder at the same link.
Finally, here's my brief share during my noon workshop session with Andrew Wheelock the same day: Enjoy, and Try Something new!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Working in the Space Outside of the Space Outside of the Box

Looking so forward to having dinner with the multi-talented edtech thought leader Andy Wheelock Thursday night and kicking off the Digital Wave conference in West Seneca, NY next Friday morning. If you can be there, be there, and if you can't, watch here for my presentation and keep an eye on #outtheboxdw15 in the Twitdom Friday. Join in if you will and come if you can!