EL CENTRO, Calif. – Danette Morrell knew she needed a different way to engage students in the learning process at Desert Oasis High School. The alternative high school, which typically serves students who have fallen behind in their credits due to behavior issues and other circumstances, wanted to offer students more options to recover credit quickly.
“Our children need a variety of formats from which to learn and many students thrive in the technology-based programs,” said Morrell, former principal of the school.
While at a state conference, Morrell learned about EdOptions™’ Novel™, a library of 39 Web-based courses available anytime, from anywhere with an Internet connection.
It was the perfect fit.
“As I was looking at EdOptions’ curriculum, one of the things that came to the forefront was that it is standards-based,” Morrell said. “It met our needs for new, relevant curriculum for the continuation school setting.”
It’s been less than a year since the school first began using EdOptions’ Novel courses in the classroom, but Morrell said administrators have already noticed a big difference.
At Desert Oasis High, discipline referrals in the classroom have dropped significantly because students are more focused on their work and less distracted. Additionally, many students are getting back on track to graduate by working on their Web-based courses at home, long after the school day has ended.
“We’re continually looking for better ways to prepare students for the future global economy... I believe EdOptions is a great way to do that.”
Even students who had dropped out prior to Novel being an option, have returned to give school another shot.
“We are seeing students who can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Morrell said.
Not only are students reconnecting with the curriculum, but the Web-based Novel courses are also building stronger student-teacher relationships in the classroom, she said.
“As odd as it may sound to some people, you can make a lot of personal connection through the computer because students are e-mailing the teacher, and the teacher is e-mailing them,” Morrell said.
“That casual conversation, in addition to school, really allows the student to bond and want to show up the next day,” she said.
Due to success such as this, administrators have now expanded use of Novel throughout the district.
“We’re continually looking for better ways to prepare students for the future global economy,” Morrell said. “I believe EdOptions is a great way to do that.”