Updated: 02/14/2014 10:45 PM
Created: 02/14/2014 3:53 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Completely online high schools have cropped up in the Twin Cities, but Duluth students could be the first in the Northland to log in for attendance. The Duluth district is seeking state approval for an online program
Forget buses, books, and school bells. Teachers at Duluth's Area Learning Center are booting up an online classroom.
“I think it's exciting to be looking at this through a lens of okay how can we make this as much like a classroom as possible? How can we we get collaboration and choice and students really excited about learning?” Phil Thouin said.
Science teacher Phil Thouin is working on the concept of a digital class. He said computer applications can become a space for students to create, interact, and learn.
“Online applications that kind of create a sandbox where multiple users can be working in the same space, interacting, chatting,” Thouin said. “We're thinking about them maybe creating their own Youtube videos or animations.”
He said students won't just be surfing the web. Teachers will have the power of pixel pedagogy through recorded video or live-streaming chats.
“Make no mistake, the key component here is the teacher. It's going to come down to how well the teacher is able to use this tool and use this venue,” Chris Vold said.
Teacher Chris Vold is part of the team establishing the online school. He said any Duluth student could work full-time toward a diploma online. However, Vold said it would really help students who struggle to attend class.
“You have students that perhaps the family's struggling, and they have to have a job and they have to work to help support and pay bills. We've got teen parents; students that are missing school because of pregnancy,” Vold said.
He said the online program is being developed for students in the Duluth district, but once approved kids could commute online from anywhere in the state.
Soon the Duluth classrooms could convert into the online age. The district continues the state approval process, and officials hope to have some online offerings ready by fall of 2014.
Scannell Case in Jury's Hands, No Verdict Thursday
The case against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell is now in the hands of a jury after closing arguments took place Thursday afternoon. The jury began deliberations at just after 5 p.m. and they adjourned for the night just after 8 p.m.
Dept. of Health Warns of E. Coli Levels at Lake Superior Beaches
With warmer temperatures, more people are hitting the water. Swimmers may still be wary of the cool water of Lake Superior, but there's something else swimmers should be aware of and you can't see it - it's E. coli.
Tree Removal for Two-mile Reconstruction of Duluth's 4th Street Draws Ire
The future of Duluth's 4th Street was a heated topic Thursday night, as St. Louis County engineers discussed tree removal plans.
Wisconsin's 74th Assembly Seat Debate Hits on Mining Issues
Mining was a hot issue during the debate for Wisconsin's 74th Assembly seat Wednesday night. Two democrats are vying for Rep. Janet Bewley's open seat.
WITC-Superior Receives $900K State Grant
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior is getting grant money from the state to help fund more sections of high-demand welding programs.