After the iNACOL conference in Orlando, I stopped by Florida Virtual School, the nation's first and largest online public statewide school. It was a lot more fun than a trip to Disney and I learned 10 things about their success.


iNACOL wrapped their tenth annual conference this week in Orlando. What used to be the Virtual School Symposium is now the Blended and Online Learning Symposium this week in Orlando. And blended it was, as we outlined in our summary, the majority of the 275 breakout sessions dealt with technology enhanced learning at school.


It's still harder than it should be to create an effective sequence of learning experiences in K-12, postsecondary or organizational training. Owing to underinvestment and weak demand articulation, learning management systems (LMS) are at least five years behind the growing demand for engaging, learner-centered, competency-based experiences that result in employment (and other favorable outcomes).


Katie McNerney thinks about the future of education and the talent that will be required to unlock the potential. The CEO of EdFuel hangs out at 1776, a D.C. startup accelerator, with founder Kathleen deLaski, also the president of the deLaski Family Foundation.


When Collins-Maxwell began a 1:1 iPad initiative for all students in grades 6-12 in the fall of 2012, one of the largest concerns among teachers, parents, and board members was the management of the device. Teachers were worried that students would be off-task in class, refusing to do the assigned work.


School networks were the big K-12 development of the last decade. Managed networks including Achievement First, Aspire, DSST, IDEA, Success, Uncommon, and YES achieved scale and uniformly high performance. School developers like KIPP, New Tech Network, and Expeditionary Learning build national networks of schools that share a common model and some support services. Both CMOs and school developers made it easier to open and sustain a good school.


A state chief asked for a list of things that his state should try. With help from Eric Smith of Chiefs for Change, here's a list of the top ten list of things every state should do now:


The combination of energized knowledgeable teacher leaders and a grant program supporting new school development will change the K-12 landscape in Washington D.C.


For other ideas and strategies to prevent high school seniors and great numbers of at-risk students from dropping out, visit the Penn Foster Web site or The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Web site. We also invite you to join us at the 25th Annual National Dropout Prevention Center Network Conference, to be held November 3-6, 2013, in Atlanta, GA.


"Learning a second language is no longer a luxury," said Angela Jackson. We agree. She adds, "It is a necessary skill that students must have in order to compete in a global economy. It broadens their opportunities in higher education, and research shows that learning a second language helps children in their overall cognitive development."


The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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