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.
Four Residents Escape Lincoln Park Apartment Engulfed in Flames
A home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood was enveloped by flames early Wednesday morning. All four people were able to leave the apartment complex safely. Our crew arrived around 5:00 a.m. at the 2700 block of West 4th Street in Duluth.
Judge Denies Mistrial in Little Falls Shootings
A Minnesota judge has denied another request for a mistrial in the case of a homeowner who killed two teens who entered his home.
Minn. Senate Backs New Cell Phone Tracking Rules
New restrictions on police use of cell phone tracking technology have won backing from the Minnesota Senate.
Minn. Lawmakers Wrestle with Privacy Protection
Minnesota lawmakers are wrestling with ways to prevent public employees from abusing access to citizen data.
Superior Murder Trial Delayed after New Evidence Released
Juan Leonardo Padilla, 40, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., is charged with the shooting death of 46-year-old Terrance Rodney Luukkonen of Duluth last May. Luukkonen was shot outside his workplace at Genesis Attachments in Superior.