U.S. Department of Education Senior Officials to Participate in iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium

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Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton and Michael Robbins, senior advisor for nonprofit partnerships, will participate in the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Blended and Online Learning Symposium on Monday, Oct. 28, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The symposium will showcase leading edge learning through the use of online and blended breakthrough learning models.

At 8 a.m., Shelton will join a panel discussion, "Driving an Innovative Policy Roadmap toward the Transformation of Student Learning." Policy leaders from federal and state government will provide a vision of the future of policy toward student-centered learning. Shelton’s remarks, in particular, will focus on education innovation and policy leadership with regard to online learning.

Later that morning, Robbins will participate in two workshops—"Community and Family Partnerships for Digital Learning Success" at 10 a.m., and "Attendance Matters: Monitoring and Improving Attendance in Blended and Virtual Learning Environments" at 11:15 a.m. During the first workshop, Robbins will discuss how community and family partnerships can support digital learning transitions, and how the digital learning revolution can transform the way teachers, families and community organizations collaborate to propel student engagement and learning. Robbins’ remarks during the second workshop will focus on how the research and practice of reducing absenteeism in traditional school environments can be extended to blended and virtual learning settings. He will address the role of data systems, interventions and the role of family and community partnerships in improving attendance.

In the afternoon at 1:45, Shelton will participate in another panel discussion—"It's Time to Give Tech an A." Panelists will examine advanced programs that empower educators and personalize learning for every student, as well as determine whether Edtech deserves an "A" grade.

The mission of iNACOL, a non-profit organization, is to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education and online learning opportunities. The organization focuses on research; developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access; developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended and competency-based education; and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, district and state leaders for new learning models.