Friday, February 23, 2018
Education

More high school students in Florida are taking advantage of massive open online courses

TALLAHASSEE — It's the latest trend in education and it's coming soon to a school near you.

But what exactly is a MOOC?

On Thursday, Florida lawmakers got schooled on massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

The concept is being tested in Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and will likely be expanding across the state.

MOOCs are virtual classes that allow unlimited enrollment.

Students watch recorded lectures and move through the material at their own pace. They typically have little or no interaction with the instructor.

"It's about open-source learning and innovative techniques," said state Rep. Manny Diaz, a Hialeah Republican, noting that MOOCs are best suited for independent and motivated students.

MOOCs are popular in colleges, and are slowly spreading to Florida's K-12 system.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law allowing MOOCs in subject areas with end-of-course exams, including algebra, geometry and biology. The law requires MOOC providers to use Florida-certified teachers and win approval from the state Department of Education.

Some schools are giving it a shot.

High-school students in Pinellas County are enrolled in a remedial math MOOC offered by St. Petersburg College.

In Miami-Dade, G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School is piloting a MOOC in computer science. The University of Miami's Global Academy, an online middle and high school, is offering MOOCs to help students prepare for the Advanced Placement calculus exam and the SAT subject test in biology.

Similarly, Broward College is offering a new MOOC focusing on college-level reading, writing, and math. Half of enrollees are high school students from Broward County, state education officials said.

House Education Committee Chairwoman Marlene O'Toole, R-Lady Lake, stressed that massive open online courses were not requirements, but options for Florida students looking to enhance their education.

"I'm excited by all of the opportunity," O'Toole said.

Comments
Special Olympians shine at county summer games

Special Olympians shine at county summer games

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was one of those perfect days, when sunscreen and shade are in high demand, smiles are aplenty and the camaraderie on the field trumps the thrill of victory.About 600 Special Olympians and unified athletes from west Pasco schools...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Published: 02/22/18
Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a dining hall at New York University advertised a special meal in honor of Black History Month. On the menu? Barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and two beverages with racist connotations: Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored...
Published: 02/22/18
Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

With high school students from Parkland in the Capitol this week advocating for gun control, the bill that would have allowed superintendents and principals to designate trained employees who can carry concealed weapons at school didn’t get heard as ...
Published: 02/22/18
How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

When students return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time next Tuesday, they will be greeted by additional counselors and law enforcement."There will be a plethora of counselors and services at the school," Broward Schools Superintende...
Published: 02/21/18
School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears to have been in line for a sizable inheritance. He’ll never get to spend it — except perhaps on defense attorneys.The amount could be enough to compel a judge to order him to hire a private lawyer, rather ...
Published: 02/21/18
Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

DADE CITY — A Pasco High School student was taken into custody Tuesday amid accusations of threatening violence against the school. The campus was not at risk, school district officials said. But they made clear they take each threat seriously, and t...
Published: 02/21/18
‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

LITHIA — Students, faculty and staff recently scurried inside the Newsome High School gym for a morning assembly to hear a message about bullying from a man who kids once taunted.Newsome’s principal Carla Bruning invited actor Quinton Aaron, star of ...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

RIVERVIEW — Spoto High School English Department Head Adam Sherman can’t help but wonder if a program he introduced to Spartan students could have changed the trajectory of Nickolas Cruz’s life before he gunned down and killed 17 people on Valentine’...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18