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Plato Learning Environment 2.0 Adds AP Courses
- By Evan Tassistro
Plato Learning has added Advanced Placement (AP) courses to its online curriculum platform, providing an option for high schools that don't currently offer AP classes. Courses available include English (literature and composition), biology, and calculus, with plans to offer chemistry and United States history in the near future. The online platform itself was also updated with new interface enhancements and student-teacher collaboration features.
Advanced Placement courses teach college-level curriculum to high school students and grant a grade point average boost for purposes of university admissions. At the end of the course, AP students may opt to take a test administered outside of the school, which is scored on a five-point scale. In addition to enhancing college admission applications, completion of an AP course and test provides the opportunity to "test out" of required lower division classes in many cases, allowing students entering university to start in a more advanced course.
Plato's browser-based programs for elementary through high school students combine online and offline activities with course-specific assessments for targeted instruction and reporting features to track student progress.
The latest release of Plato Learning Environment 2.0 includes a simplified interface, creation of classes and assignments on one screen, quick views, and enhancements to reporting tools and administrator access control. Also new are a digital drop box for turning in online assignments and threaded discussions to facilitate communication between students and teachers.
The new Plato AP courses, as well as the updated online platform, were introduced in June at the ISTE 2010 conference in Denver, CO. More information can be found here.
Evan Tassistro is a freelance writer based in San Diego, CA.