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.
2 Suspects Arrested, 1 at Large in Hibbing Armed Robbery
Hibbing Police say two men have been charged for armed robbery and a third suspect is still on the loose. According to police, a man was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning on the 2400 block of Fourth Avenue East. They say there is no threat to the public.
Authorities Release New Details in Fond Du Lac Reservation Homicide
Authorities said Tuesday that a Medical Examiner's report shows 31-year old Waubunoquay Dawn Randall of Stoney Brook Township died as a result of "multiple" stab wounds, allegedly at the hands of her husband. Authorities said they have now located the other woman they were searching for after she called 911 Tuesday night.
Minnesota Hotline Set Up for Ebola Questions
The state Health Department has set up a hotline to answer Minnesotans' questions about Ebola and precautions against the disease. The line will be staffed during regular business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Touchstone Awards: Men as Peacemakers
Men as Peacemakers are using sports to help children succeed in the Duluth area. They've been honored for their work by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
Superior Firefighters Battle Real Flames for Practice
Superior Firefighters are doing their first live training in a burning house over the next three days. The battalion chief says they've trained other ways, but nothing is as helpful as this. He says the smoke and heat-retaining rooms help to make the exercise more realistic.