Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Virtual Access Levels AP Classes

I would be happy to just get it system-wide :)

Montgomery, Ala.

All Alabama high schools will soon be outfitted with technology that enables a student in one end of the state to take classes being taught in the other end.

Beginning in the 2009-10 school year it won't matter as much whether a high school is in a rural Alabama district struggling to employ enough teachers or if it's in a bustling metropolis — the playing field will be a bit more level all around.

State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton and Gov. Bob Riley announced the updated expansion plan for the ACCESS Distance Learning program on Tuesday, noting that the move comes a year ahead of schedule.

The speedup was made possible by $11 million the state education department received from last year's $1 billion bond issue.

The program, which allows students to take classes online and through video conferencing, removes boundaries of economics and distance by providing the chance to take classes beyond students' physical schools — classes like Advanced Placement Macroeconomics and Mandarin Chinese II that can be taught on the Web.

"You can go to the smallest high school in Alabama, the most rural part in Alabama and you can take the highest level courses offered in any high school in Alabama," Morton said.

About half of the state's high schools have advanced placement courses now but once ACCESS is fully implemented, each high school will be able to offer eight AP classes, Riley said.

Along with providing students with classes that aren't offered at their schools, distance learning has also helped fill the gap for schools that couldn't find teachers for basic courses, technology initiative director Melinda Maddox said.

Read more HERE

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