Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Post #13

ALEX logo
For this blog assignment I will be review two programs provided to Alabama teachers. The first is ALEX, an online resource provided to teachers which stands for Alabama Learning EXchange. The slogan for the ALEX website is "Quality for Every Facet of Learning" and this is what the ALEX Team strives to live up to. The website describes ALEX as a project funded by the Alabama Department of Education focused on providing educators with tools from other teachers and resources to help them succeed.
ALEX has several different sections of the website that are easy for teachers to navigate through. It provides a link to search through specific courses of study that allows a teacher to narrow down what they are looking for or get ideas from a particular area. It also provides hundreds of lesson plans in every grade and subject that have been created by National Board Certified Teachers. This is an excellent resources that links teachers together, making lesson planning easy. ALEX also offers interactive resources such as podcasts to spread information online. It provides a large selection of links to other webpages that may aid teachers in there lesson preparation.
I feel like ALEX would be a very helpful tool as a future educator. There website states that it is a "work in progress" and "will continue to improve and expand". ALEX is a great idea, but I do think there are more aspects that can be added to aid teachers in lesson ideas and plans. I think that podcasts are a good start, but I would like to see videos and links to blogs added in. I can honestly say I definitely plan in my teaching career.

Access banner
ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. ACCESS is distant learning website that was created in 2004 and approved by Governor Bob Riley. The goal of ACCESS is to provide additional courses to Alabama students, regardless of what high school they attend. For example, if a student wanted to take AP Calculus and it wasn't offered at his or her school, he or she would be able to use ACCESS through distant learning and video-conferencing to enroll in this course. ACCESS also offers remedial courses for students who need extra help in areas their home school can not provide.
The website gives viewers an overview of the program. It also serves as the homepage for students and educators to log on and participate in these courses. The website includes links such as: Technical support, announcements, and a list of the Courses offered. On the home page students and parents are instructed to see a school counselor to enroll in these courses.
Before researching this page, I had no idea a site like this was available. I graduated high school in 2005 and I was frequently frustrated that I was unable to take AP courses due to my high school not offering them. I ended up having to take night courses at the community college while I was in school in order to have college credit before I graduated. This seems like an excellent program, and a great way to expand much needed courses to Alabama schools.

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