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Edgenuity Launches Suite of Blended Courses

Blended learning solutions provider Edgenuity has released a new suite of courses in math, English language arts (ELA), and career explorations for middle school students.

The suite will be available this summer for deployment in the 2013-14 school year, and boasts math and ELA courses that support the instructional shifts required by the adoption of Common Core State Standards, according to a company release, including increased focus on problem-solving and analysis.

Designed for grades 6-8, the courses' new assignment types and tools feature interactive tasks and assessments, along with projects built to ensure subject mastery.

"We've redesigned our middle school curriculum to help students become more engaged in learning through interactive features, graphics, virtual labs, and simulations that bring content to life," said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity, in a release. "Middle school is a pivotal period for most students, and a time when it can be difficult for students to catch up if they fall behind."

The math courses teach fewer topics at each grade level in an effort to promote greater depth of learning within each one, according to a release.  On-screen teachers use diagrams, graphs and tables, verbal expressions, and symbolic notation to facilitate student understanding, and a "common misconceptions" feature highlights concepts that middle school students commonly find challenging.

Non-fiction readings form the core of the ELA courses, designed to support reading, writing, and speaking activities grounded in text-based evidence while also focusing on vocabulary development. A key feature of the courses is the Edgenuity CloseReader, which provides tools including text-based and audio commentary, embedded comprehension questions, highlighting and text annotation tools, word look-up, read-aloud, and translation into 17 different languages.

The Career Explorations portion of the suite is a course intended to help middle school students make informed decisions and develop plans around their future academic and career goals, and includes skill and interest assessments for students.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].