update the old “distance learning” language in the student
and teacher handbooks. These are the criteria they consider before enrolling a student in an online class:
• Is online the best setting for this student?
• Will it affect the jobs of teachers in the district?
• What is the cost for this student to take the course?
Online courses are broadening choices for students,
providing an effective alternative for students on IEPs,
and helping students graduate who certainly would not
without the opportunity to make up a course online.
The Path Ahead
We are now developing local course resources, train-
ing teachers in Moodle, and offering our own courses.
Using Collaborative Statistics, a college-level statis-
tics textbook by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean, as
a guide, we are developing our first full-year course.
We chose Collaborative Statistics because Oregon
students will soon be required to have three years of
mathematics at the Algebra I level or higher, and most
high schools have a difficult time providing options
for students who don’t want to take calculus. We have
branched the course from the textbook to use some
of the project-based instructional strategies that have
proven successful in alternative high school settings.
Students can complete the traditional path or go the
project-infused route. After piloting this year, we
will share the course via Creative Commons.
Don W. Brown, EdD, is an instructional technolo- gist for Lane Education Service District in Eugene, Oregon, USA. He consults with the University of Oregon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Edu- cation and the Oregon Department of Education. His research focuses on the implementation of virtual courses.
Join the conversation!
Contribute to L&L-related discussions
in our group on the ISTE Ning.
Are you NETS•T Certified yet?
NETS•T Certification is an online professional development
program developed and accredited by James Madison
University and fully aligned with ISTE’s National Educational
Technology Standards for Teachers. Demonstrate your mastery
of technology integration and obtain graduate credit,
at your own pace, within a virtual community of practice.
Also available for licensing by schools/districts
Since 2003, many school districts have integrated our NETS•T
Certification into their PD and recertification programs.
Where do you stand? Take our FREE surveys at
Phone: (301) 946-1236
All courses are accredited by James
James Madison University®, JMU® and the James
Madison Logo are registered trademarks of James
Madison University used under license.
21st Century Skills