5 reasons to integrate STEM into online learning

STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are highly technical, which is one reason that the education system is changing to further incorporate these subjects into the curriculum.

As more and more fields require technical knowledge, it is a good idea to equip our young learners with basic STEM skills early on. With online schools, it is invaluable to start teaching these concepts at a young age, which is why STEM curriculum is now being introduced at the elementary level.

Related content: How STEM invigorates learning…Read More

Superintendent’s online-learning business raises concerns

Houston Public Schools (Minn.) Superintendent Kim Ross will resign when his contract expires on June 30.
Houston, Minn., Public Schools Superintendent Kim Ross will leave the district when his contract expires June 30.

The superintendent of Minnesota’s Houston School District is leaving amid concerns about his involvement with a private online-learning consulting firm.

Houston Public Schools spokeswoman Kelley Stanage said Kim Ross has announced he’ll leave the district when his contract expires June 30. Ross, who is currently on paid administrative leave, was named a Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award winner by eSchool News earlier this year.

In March, school board members expressed concerns about Ross’s role in Ambient Learning, which he created with Steve Kerska, another district employee.…Read More

Oregon panel votes to add restrictions to online schools

A bill to increase restrictions on online public schools was approved by a key committee in the Oregon Legislature on Feb. 3, despite pleas from parents for exceptions to the proposal, reports the Statesman Journal. House Bill 3660 now goes to the full House for a vote, with a subsequent referral to Ways and Means. The bill makes some changes to the state’s virtual charter school laws, while extending an enrollment freeze enacted by the 2009 Legislature. It calls for more study of virtual schooling, with further legislation in the 2011 session. Backers of the schools say parents should have the right to choose the educational program that’s right for their children. They say they fear the real goal of legislation is to shut the schools down. Legislators say they want to make the schools—many of which are operated in part by for-profit corporations—more accountable. The proposal requires virtual charter schools in Oregon to use the same accounting systems as other public schools. It requires virtual-school teachers and administrators to hold appropriate Oregon licenses. And it requires teachers and students to meet twice a week, either in person or through the use of conference calls or other technology…

Click here for the full story

…Read More