FETC 2010 News

Florida Virtual School Takes Courses Across State Lines

An education organization in Florida has teamed up with a company that develops learning tools to launch a new service that provides online learning for K-12 schools. Florida Virtual School (FLVS), which delivers online instruction to K-12 students in Florida, is working with Agilix Labs in the launch of BrainHoney, announced at FETC 2010 in Orlando. This solution is intended to provide schools, districts, and states a means to deliver accredited online courses to their students.

The service uses course content created by Florida Virtual School with the BrainHoney learning platform from Agilix. The courses can be used in a traditional classroom, an online environment, or a blended classroom.

Early customer Crown Point High School in Indiana has tried out all three models. The online courses have allowed students to get ahead during the summer and free up time during the school year for other activities and have provided supplementary instruction in difficult subject areas.

"I'm one year from retirement and wanted to try out online teaching before I called it quits," said Jan Lowery, a math teacher at the high school. "The transition from teaching face-to-face to online was really easy with BrainHoney and the embedded FLVS Geometry course. I was surprised that I actually got to know my students better teaching online classes through BrainHoney than I did in the classroom."

All of FLVS' courses are available in the program and stored in BrainHoney. Teachers use the service to map lessons and course modules with their specific state standards. When implementing the program, FLVS will hold a training call for all participants at the user site. Teachers and staff are also encouraged to participate in two online courses by Agilix: "Learning with BrainHoney" and "Teaching with BrainHoney" to understand how to use the learning systems. Teachers can also educate parents and students using Web-based tools.

Agilix said enrollment in the program can be on an "as needed" basis and can support students who are absent from the traditional classroom for a few days, a semester, or the year.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.