To address concerns about quality and improve online learning, the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters recently released revised standards for virtual education—one set each for online teaching, online programs, and online courses. The revised standards are the first update since 2011. Representatives from the two organizations spent two years combing through the existing standards from the Aurora Institute (formerly known as the International Association for K–12 Online Learning, or iNACOL) and soliciting feedback from the field to shape the new standards. Educators can freely view or download the 2019 versions of the standards sets for virtual education.
In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
In spring 2018, Reaktor, an AI and tech partner in Finland, and University of Helsinki came together with the aim of helping people be empowered, not threatened, by artificial intelligence. Together, they built Elements of AI to teach the basics of artificial intelligence to people from a wide range of backgrounds.