Cincinnati Schools launches blended learning AP courses

“Boot camp” sessions introduce students to new blended learning platform

blended-wirelessCincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is launching an Advanced Placement (AP) Blended Learning program, and wireless provider Kajeet will provide students with mobile hotspots to support the district’s efforts.

The district is hosting two week-long “Boot Camps,” one at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and one at University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, to introduce students to the academic challenges of AP courses.

The sessions will guide students in how to best work in this setting—one with a state-of-the-art learning platform where teachers will facilitate student engagement with online course materials.

Next page: How the AP blended learning program is structured

CPS began offering AP Blended Learning courses last school year to offer advanced academic experiences to students who do not have, or have limited access, to AP courses in their schools. The district provides the students with a digital curriculum, mobile devices and a safe, high-speed internet connection—-Kajeet Education Broadband™—-to allow them to work at home.

“At Cincinnati Public Schools, we encourage our students to think beyond graduation, and take steps toward identifying and transitioning into meaningful careers,” said Laura Mitchell, deputy superintendent and chief academic officer. “We wanted to expand our AP offerings, so that more students have the opportunity to earn college credits early and experience more of the rigor they will face in post-secondary studies.”

Because of its growing interest, CPS will expand the program for the 2015-16 school year to five AP courses–including Human Geography, Psychology, English Literature, Statistics and Environmental Science—-for approximately 520 students taught by six teachers at 10 schools. Bringing technology into the classroom in this manner allows the district to teach more students with fewer instructors, as much of the coursework can be done online and collaboratively with peers.

During the week-long boot camp, students will receive laptops with cases, the Kajeet SmartSpot—a managed mobile hotspot—and SmartSpot cases. Throughout the week, students will use their laptops to learn skills such as using Blackboard and Google Apps, time management, writing for success, self advocating, and collaboration. Classes will include an introduction to AP coursework, a glimpse into a college school day, as well as what it means to be an AP student.

As part of the program, Kajeet will provide CPS with its Education Broadband solution to help the students access safe, filtered broadband for educational purposes using their Wi-Fi hotspots. Since the devices are provided by the school district, CPS wants to ensure the broadband being provided is filtered for educational purposes to keep them on task and to reduce costs.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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