Saturday, January 31, 2009


ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, & Students Statewide. ACCESS was established to provide high quality classroom courses & teachers, via technology. The vision of ACCESS is that the State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning opportunities. The main problem that ACCESS encounters is many rural and low-income schools have limited course offerings for students. For example: some schools cannot offer the Advanced Diploma, which is required by state law. Alabama also ranks 14 out of 16 Southern states in AP offerings. Many schools cannot offer courses such as physics, calculus, or trigonometry. There are also many other course needs. The ACCESS objectives are also clearly stated. First to provide access to advanced diploma courses. Second, to provide access to additional course offerings. Third, to provide access to advanced placement or dual enrollment courses. Fourth, to provide access to remediation and supplemental resources. Fifth, to leverage existing resources and distance learning offerings. Finally, to provide teachers with additional multimedia and technology tools to enhance instruction.

Some of the strategies include increasing connectivity to high schools and central offices, upgrade existing IVC labs to H.323 standards, develop blended course model (pilot sites), conduct needs assessments and evaluations, etc. Distance learning means learning experiences in which instructors and students are separated by space and/or time. The modes of delivery are web based and videoconferencing (IVC). The new mode of delivery is blended. This means combining videoconferencing and Internet based instruction. Videoconferencing is an audio/visual link between two or more geographically remote sites. This mode of delivery is taught by a highly qualified Alabama certified teacher. It allows students to take courses not offered at their school. It also allows students to interact with students not from other schools. It also increases student responsibility for learning.

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