Staff members of the Belin-Blank Center are busily preparing several new online opportunities for students. At the time this newsletter was published, we weren’t quite ready to launch the registration process, but we wanted to give you a heads up! Do you have a student in elementary, middle or high school? Make sure you are on our newsletter list by signing up here, and indicate your student’s grade level. We will be sure to send you the latest news about our new online programs as soon as possible!
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The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) is a great example of how technology is used to provide advanced learning opportunities for students. As a self-contained program, IOAPA offers students an independent setting for online learning, and given the increasing trend of online education, this can help prepare students for higher education. How else can teachers use technology to work for their students? Click on the links to read recent articles covering technology in the classroom at all levels:
- NPR recently covered the use of different apps in the classroom, ranging from student polling systems to behavior monitoring.
- Scientific American discusses how video gaming might be making the leap from entertainment to education.
- KQED’s Mind/Shift blog describes efforts to research how technology is the classroom contributes to desired outcomes.
- The New York Times recently covered issues with increased technology and impacts on privacy.
- Another Scientific American article mentioned the need for constant re-evaluation and planning for classroom technology.
There are a lot of benefits discussed regarding Advanced Placement courses—earning college credit, preparation for college-level coursework, and skipping introductory college coursework, to name a few. But did you know that online AP classes can also help prepare you for online experiences in college?
Online learning is a rapidly expanding trend on college campuses—according to research conducted by the Sloan Foundation, roughly one-third of U.S. undergraduate students took an online college course for credit last year. With 70-80% of collegiate institutions reporting that online education is a central focus for long-term strategy, online learning is here to stay at colleges and universities. Because college-bound students will most likely take an online course at some point, more high schools are emphasizing the importance of being prepared for the unique challenges of online learning—some districts even require high school students to take online classes prior to graduating from high school.
High school students in Iowa have a unique opportunity to prepare for online learning through the Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA). Students who participate in Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) courses not only benefit from exposure to more rigorous, college-level coursework, but also have the opportunity to practice independent learning, utilizing an online format, and seeking additional help when needed—all skills necessary for success in online classrooms at all levels. In addition, IOAPA students also have built-in support from site coordinators and mentors. Research conducted with college undergraduates found that although learning outcomes are generally consistent between online-only and combined learning formats, access to support was one area in which online students reported difficulty. Access to these additional resources helps IOAPA students learn how to anticipate and master challenging course material, a skill necessary for success in the college environment. When confronted with online experiences in college, Iowa Online AP Academy students have already experienced some of the benefits and challenges of participating in online learning, and may be able to use the skills developed in IOAPA as they continue their education.
Interested in learning more about IOAPA? Find out more.