Apex Learning Technology CoursesREVIEWS CONTINUED
[Apex Learning (800) 453-1454] - Website
Apex Learning is now offering a suite of project-based technology courses which teach essential 21st-century computer animation skills to middle and high school students. The suite develops technical knowledge, creativity and problem-solving skills in the areas of coding, animation and design. The courses are dynamic and engaging, with video lessons led by real-life, techy, eccentric young men who guide students through the comprehensive, carefully scaffolded units: Sean, Sam and Aaron mimic the high-spirited environment and blend with the pulsating digital music, images, and backgrounds that add authenticity to the programming software being learned!
Characteristics of the in-depth courses are: (1) They are Project-based - students complete projects such as building apps, creating 3D games or animated shorts, and designing fashion collections (2) Industry-standard tools are utilized, so students can market their skills if they should ever join the technology work force (3) Support from experts - Recognizing that many teachers may not be familiar with the professional tools necessary to offer these courses, Apex includes full support from their experts, should assistance be needed by teacher or student.
Currently, four subscription-based courses are available, with more to come. Titles are 3D Animation, 3D Character Animation, 3D Game Design, and Mod Design 2 . Students gain hands-on experience using a range of popular 3D animation software used by professionals: Blender, OWL Game Creator, Eclipse, GIMP, Tabula, as well as Java coding. The step-by-step courses teach and guide students through the process of creating projects. There is full support on use of the coding and tools, and no additional instruction is required.
Units are divided into multiple chapters, and the format is to study, review and take a quiz. An introductory lesson video gives a demonstration (Show You), which the students apply to their project (You Try). Switching back and forth is enabled by pressing key combinations on the keyboard. We found the carefully constructed and detailed lessons easy to learn, and it is always encouraging when your (virtual) teacher tells you emphatically, "You can, and you will......make a spectacular animation."
According to the literature, district staff need not have any technical expertise to offer these technology courses. Teachers are provided clear grading rubrics, and the courses may be implemented without familiarity with the subject-matter or the tools used by students. If there are questions about the rubrics, hardware and installation instructions, Apex technology course experts are available for guidance.
AP English Literature & Composition
[Pearson Online & Blended Learning (888) 410-6502]- Website
Not all high schools can afford to offer Advanced Placement courses, and some offer AP classes to only a few students. But now, any student with the will and ambition to succeed can access AP courses and gain college credit with the help of Pearson Online & Blended Learning's online AP courses. Currently, Pearson offers six such courses, of which AP English may be the most useful. Winner of the 2019 BESSIES - AP English Literature & Composition Website category, AP English is an extremely rigorous and thorough course which has been vetted by College Board for AP study, and includes AP exam preparation guides and practice tips to help students prepare for the AP exams.
The course consists of units in poetry, drama, short fiction, and drama and sixty+ lessons which require everything from comprehension to synthesis, as well as reviews and tests. And the content is rigorous - many a graduate student might have trouble with the requirements. To assist with successful completion, AP English offers a Virtual Library, a Resources section, Forum, Assessments, Objectives, Discussions, Print, and Help. Teachers can monitor student progress, test scores, grade assignments and more from a dedicated online dashboard.
New since 2018, AP English was developed because demand for personalized learning has increased exponentially, with more students needing education that suits their lifestyles and environment. AP English meets those needs elegantly and with elan. Well done.