Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Post # 13

ALEX icon
Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) offers educators many helpful tools for effective teaching strategies. The site includes a Course of Study, Web Links, Lesson Plans, and Professional Learning opportunities. Subjects available range from Science to Driver and Traffic Safety Education. There is something for everyone. As an English/Language Arts major, I am able to enter any source in ALEX, select my area of instruction, the grade level, and access lesson plans, book reviews, and websites providing further instruction and ideas for teaching. ALEX allows teacher to login to their own "Personal Workplace" to store and submit lesson plans and share web pages with other educators. This is a great place for collaborating. The "Professional Learning" component grants teachers opportunities for training and attendance of presentations and conferences

Since I feel that podcasts are wonderful educational tools, I found the Podcast Treasury tab very interesting and exciting. Here, they have podcasts available for Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Health/Physical Education, English/Language Arts, Technology Education, and many more. All a teacher has to do is select their subject and select a podcast that best suits the lesson. Not only are teachers able to share information through this component, but students are able to give their insight as well through. Some features podcasts under English/ Language Arts are "Our Favorite Authors", "Plagiarism and Citing Sources", and "Heroes: People that Inspire". The time of the podcast is present along with the organization that published it.Whether you're familiar with ALEX or not, the Podcast Treasury tab is a must see and use resource area. This site is one that I see myself using and sharing with others throughout my teaching education and in the classroom! 

ACCESS iconAlabama Connecting Classroom, Educators, and Students Statewide (ACCESS) Distance Learning Program was created to deliver instruction to the many rural and low-income schools in Alabama who have limited course offerings for students. The mission of the ACCESS program is to provide an infrastructure that delivers equal, quality learning opportunities for all Alabama citizens. A blended learning model was used to implement the ACCESS program. This program offers courses using either web-based or interactive videoconferencing as well as a combination with the two. The program has awarded 70 grants to Alabama high schools in order to implement 21st Century distance learning classrooms which include technologies such as interactive whiteboards, cameras, and computers and accessories. Teachers are also awarded professional development and specialized training for successfully implementing ACCESS. This program appears to be working considering that enrollment in 174 participating high schools has increased to over 9,000 per year. These classes similar to college online classes are offered to students in grades 9-12. Although I had never previously heard of this program, I think it is a great way to keep students in school and prepare them for their future education. It was difficult for me to transition to from a classroom to an online class, but these students will already be prepared.

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