Tag Archives: policy

Virtual School Policy

Virtual School Policy

by Mark Sivy

Policy has and is playing an important role in the adoption and evolution of virtual schools. Fulton and Kober (2002) recommend that during the process of designing and developing virtual school policy, policymakers should develop indicators that not only can be used to guide virtual schools, but that can also be used in the evaluation of virtual education.

virtual school policyBased upon the Digital Learning Council’s 2011 Digital Learning Now! Roadmap for Reform report, policy should address and support student success, the availability of quality learning options, and a digital learning infrastructure. Student success can be facilitated by ensuring equal access, removing access barriers, personalizing learning, and cultivating learning achievement and advancement (Digital Learning Council, 2011; Rice, 2009). In terms of quality learning options, considerations must be made for high quality content, instruction, choices, programs and interactions (Digital Learning Council, 2011). This involves upholding the rigor of said elements and establishing and maintaining a means of assessment and accountability. Finally, digital learning infrastructure focuses on the virtual school’s underpinnings and the factors that contribute to sustainability. These include funding, stakeholder input, technology infrastructure and its reliability, support, training, research, and evaluation (Digital Learning Council, 2011; Rice, 2009).

Reflection Point – “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” ~Ronald Reagan



Digital Learning Council. (2011). Digital learning now! Roadmap for reform.

Fulton, K. & Kober, N. (2002). Preserving principles of public education in an online world: What policymakers should be asking about virtual schools. Center on Education Policy Report.

Rice, K. (2009). Priorities in k-12 distance education: A Delphi study examining multiple perspectives on policy, practice, and research. Educational Technology & Society 12(3), 163-177.



Virtual School Ecosystems

Virtual School Ecosystems

by Mark Sivy

Graduate GlobeWith my doctoral degree now complete, I have an added wealth of knowledge, research skills, and theoretical perspective that complements many years of practical experience in educational technology, e-learning, and educational leadership. It’s now time to pull all of of this together and put it to some good use.

As a way to share what I’ve learned and have yet to discover about virtual school ecosystems, I’ve created this blog. So what makes up these ecosystems? Well, it involves all of those interactive school components, such as operations, infrastructure, technology systems, learners, governance, communication, community, teams, and staff. Please keep in mind that even though I refer to virtual schools, the information presented in this blog applies to similar references such as cyber schools, online school programs, and virtual charter schools.

Since I have other interests related to virtual school ecosystems, I also decided to create these additional blogs:

Sailing Ship LRAt this point each blog will set sail in its own direction and take on a life of their own. The destinations are many, with several being charted and where going where the winds might blow. So now onward with these journeys…

Reflection Point – I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.  ~ First stanza of Sea Fever by John Masefield