For this assignment Jessica and I visited the ACCESS lab located at Foley High School in Baldwin County Alabama. The ACCESS lab at Foley High was not up and running yet, but all of the equipment was set up and will be ready for use by this coming Fall semester. The lab had many important features such as two flat screen televisions in the front and back of the classroom, a smart board set up in the front and a projector that is used along with the smart board. The classroom is also capable of facilitating 32 students at a time.
ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. The ACCESS lab is a distance learning program that allows students to "access" classes that are not offered at their current school. This gives students a larger variety of class choices. ACCESS works by locating schools throughout the state who offer different courses than those offered at the current school. The course that a student would take in the ACCESS lab is going to be taught by a teach from a different school. The student will actually become a member of the class in the other school and will be able to communicate with the teacher virtually. I know that if the ACCESS lab had been used when I was in high school it would have made a great difference in how I scheduled my classes!
Another way that the ACCESS lab is being used at Foley High School is to lower the dropout rate. There is a poster in the room which I have a pictured below. It states "Linking Leaders for Dropout Prevention". Students today love technology, so giving them the technology they love in an educational way is very important. The ACCESS lab can be a great escape from the traditional classroom setting. I believe that ACCESS would be a great way to motivate students to stay in school.