Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Post #13

Blue Spider Web

It lists the standards that need to be met by students and gives lesson plans for each standard. The standards are for each grade level and are marked with indicators to tell teachers which standards are often tested by AHSGE and other tests. It's a great addition to a PLN for any teacher and it's available for each subject area, not just English and Literature Arts.

In addition to lesson plans, there are web links that take teachers to outside sources of information about the standards. If a teacher has a class blog and posts the assignments on it, then the links would provide another boost to the lesson plan by giving the students more information about the subject and objectives. This is a great tool and shows how much is out there in regards to material, media, and the like for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Accessing the information is as simple as going to the ALEX website, which I linked at the top of this post, and then selecting the area you wish to explore. Not only are there lesson plans, but there are podcasts, a personal workspace, professional learning area that has all sorts of links to grants and other special opportunities for educators, and Alexville which is community of ALEX educators and professionals. It's pretty much the bomb.

One of my personal new favorite links is the site and I know for a fact it's going to be a place worth my time in the future. The entire website ALEX is a great resource, and I am super glad that I know about it now. I'm for sure going to use it when I have to write my thesis and do some other lesson plans for another class. Now I can't wait to get started on those. That isn't sad at all. Many of the objectives that are covered by ALEX and for which lesson plans and media is available, I know I will have to cover in my future classrooms. It's great to know that there is already literature available that has been proven to be effective and that I know will be a great addition to my curriculum.

This website is run by the Alabama State Department of Education. As quoted from the document describing the ACCESS plan in detail, the vision, mission, and goals of ACCESS are to implement the long-distance learning across Alabama and usher us into the 21st Century classroom.
The State of Alabama will provide through ACCESS Distance Learning equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning opportunities.

The mission of Alabama ACCESS Distance Learning is to provide an infrastructure that delivers equitable, quality learning opportunities for all high school students.

The goal of Alabama ACCESS Distance Learning is to provide equity through additional educational offerings for all Alabama public high school students.

On the site, there is a wide list of resources under the Resource tab that are specifically geared toward helping teachers find usable material for the public school classrooms. There are links to ALEX, and a myriad of other sites that will prove to be invaluable resources for teachers of all subjects. There is also information for students about using the ACCESS program to take classes they might not otherwise be able to take. There are test-preps for the AP exams. On the whole, the ACCESS site seems to be a well-thought out attempt on the part of our state government to boost the public school system technologically and to jump-start learning.

As for me, that fact that I haven't heard anything about the ACCESS program since it was introduced in 2004 tells me that it might not have been such a great success as it was hoped. I don't know. That's just my opinion. When I was in high school (I graduated in '09) I didn't have the choice to take online classes or video classes. Maybe it was because I wasn't in one of those "hard to reach" areas. In any case, I hope this program does work out. On the surface it seems beneficial, if a bit confusing.

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