we make sure students participate in
extracurricular events that demonstrate
student achievement. For example:
• The French and Spanish clubs have
attended local and state competitions, where they participate in poetry recitations, give demonstrations
in a foreign language, and perform
in skits and musical competitions.
• Students in Leesa Potts’ fashion
merchandising class made trips to
clothing stores and interviewed store
owners about their operations and
marketing strategies, then submitted
their fashion designs for critiquing
and consideration for manufacture.
• As an ongoing part of the Introduction to Travel and Tourism class,
students research tourist attractions
in Arkansas or surrounding states,
contact the appropriate personnel at
those attractions, and plan all aspects
of the trip, just as though they were
operating a travel agency. They then
meet their teacher, Holly Meeks, at
the attraction, tour it, and have lunch.
• Physics students took part in the
Habitat Moon Design Challenge, a
NASA event in which students were
challenged to design and build a self-sustaining, enclosed habitat capable
of supporting life on the moon.
• During the 2006 spring semester,
students in the Sports Marketing
and Entertainment class spent a Saturday shadowing the PR team of the
Arkansas Twisters Arena Football
In eight years, the distance learning
center has grown from 62 students
attending three schools to 3,046 students attending 93 schools. The passing rate is 95%. Our students have the
opportunity not only to fulfill their
graduation requirements, but also to
take advanced and specialized courses, to learn to use technology, and to
participate in extracurricular activities
not usually associated with distance-learning courses. Interest in the DLC
program has grown tremendously,
and the administration and faculty are
actively involved in expanding and
improving the scope of instruction
and student experiences through both
technology and pedagogy.
— Shirley Kirk Pickle
Shawn Coyle is the executive director of technology for the Lower Yukon School District in interior Alaska. He’s worked in the rural Alaska school system for more than 10 years.
Thea Jones is the supervisor of the Office of Instructional Technology at Baltimore County Public Schools, Mary- land. In 2008, she received the ISTE Outstanding Technology Leader Award, and she believes that at least one online course should be
required for all students.
Shirley Kirk Pickle, instructional
coordinator of the Arkansas
Department of Education
Distance Learning Center, has
been an educator for 34 years in
the South and New England.
She has a master’s degree in
education of the visually impaired child from the
University of Arkansas.
Transform Your Teaching with ISTE Periodicals
and Resources for
the K- 12 community
with the tools
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The K- 12 Instructional Media
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Used as a professional development
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Education and the Exploratorium,
K12IMC.org is a non-profit resource,
maintained by Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum.
Check it out today!