Best of the Best 2013: Understanding Classroom and Curriculum Transformation from the Front Line


Friday, December 27, 2013 - 4:30pm

Being a school administrator is a lot like being an educational first responder: you’re needed everywhere at once, everything is urgent, and you’re responsible for the future well-being of those in your care.

So, how do school administrators know that they’re doing everything in their power and capabilities to ensure the success of the students in their districts?   At Learning  Outside the Lines, we think that by using an online community to share information with their peers on a regular basis, and not just once a year at a conference, administrators can be more certain about the paths they’re pursuing and the choices that they’re making for their districts, teachers, and students.

This year we had the opportunity to interview several school administrators who are leveraging technology in truly innovative ways to enhance student outcomes and better prepare them for college or the working world after they graduate from high school.

Provo Turns to Online Learning Program to Teach World Languages 
Learning world languages is vitally important to students.  Exposure to secondary languages can help students better understand other cultures and prepare them to compete in today’s global economy.  But, for many public school districts, it’s often a struggle to offer strong world language programs in school.  One of the first programs to be cut when budgets need to be tightened, these programs have disappeared from many school districts in the recent past.   Moreover, even if budget is available, there’s often not a qualified teacher to fill the position.  This article outlines how world language programs are ideally suited to online learning environments, and how the Provo City School district in Utah has had success in offering a comprehensive world languages program online.

A School of One: Tailoring School Options for Every Student
In this exclusive interview with Keith Wilson, Principal of the Lawrence Virtual School, we get his perspective on tailoring school options for every student in a virtual learning environment. In many cases, it is not only about the curriculum that is provided through online courses, but it is ensuring that students experience a learning environment that fits into their personal situation. Lawrence Virtual School provides that experience by leveraging technology and understanding that a tailored experience is critical to success.

Improving Graduation Rates with Online Education: Evergreen School District
In October we sat down with Ted Feller, Executive Director of Secondary Education for the Evergreen School District, to discuss the district’s online learning programs and how they are improving their graduation rates.   Like many urban school districts, Evergreen was facing declining graduation rates.  Not only was this an undesirable situation for students, but also the district, as it was facing state sanctions for failing to meet key benchmarks.  So, just how has online learning enabled Evergreen to re-engage students, boost graduation rates, and ensure success for the schools and the communities they serve?


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