online learning

The graduation rate of the Leon County School District has soared in the past five years, thanks largely to the use of online courses. School district officials have worked hard to get students to the finish line—offering a number of pathways. But some of those methods are under scrutiny.

The Thurgood Marshall Foundation and University of Phoenix are forming a partnership with Florida A&M University’s Developmental Research School. The plan calls for the creation of online curricula for teachers and students.

Jimmy Wayne

The University of Florida’s online classes will open for business in January. The online school was created by the Florida Legislature earlier in the year. It’s part of a larger statewide trend toward online education for the state’s schools.

The state has put a larger focus on online education in recent years, and programs have sprung up at many colleges and universities. But outgoing university chancellor Frank Brogan says there’s a lot of work to do to ensure those programs are efficient and high-quality:

As state lawmakers continue looking into the state of online higher education Florida’s public university system is working to put forth its own plan.  Following the recommendations of a consulting firm, a committee of the Board of Governors is looking into designating one school to take the lead on online programs.

Florida House

House Speaker Will Weatherford is vowing to change Florida’s public higher education system. In a forum sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday, the House Speaker says the state’s higher education system can’t continue on the same path its on now.

Weatherford promised changes in how Florida’s public universities do business. He spoke about the need to keep tuition rates low, but also pushed for letting some of the universities, such as the University of Florida and Florida State University, break free of the state’s tuition caps:

LHatter / WFSU

In Cindy Smith’s 10th grade math class, there is no chalkboard. There isn’t even a dry-erase board. There’s a screen that connects to the internet. But, it’s turned off right now. Students sit at their desks, heads down and focused intently on the slim, black screen lit with equations, functions, and word problems i front of them. There are no pens, pencils or paper. Instead, these kids are using iPads, and they say they prefer the tech, to the textbook.