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Change Education with Edmentum: EdOptions Academy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 -- Eric Swanson

Eric Swanson, Group Product Manager at Edmentum, continues our series ”Change Education with Edmentum” by introducing Edmentum’s  fully-accredited virtual school solution, EdOptions Academy.

If there is one thing that I get truly excited about, it is watching the evolution of education within our school system across the country. Specifically, the way students today are demanding to learn in new and different ways. Ways that didn’t exist even a few years ago. Never in the history of education have we seen such a growth in choice for students. From brick and mortar schools, to virtual programs, to virtual schools, to Massive Open Online Courses, to self-driven independent study programs, and every combination and flavor in between.  Sometimes things change in such small steps, that it takes a step back to realize how far we have come with educational options (yes, pun intended) for our students today.

Up to this point, students did what they were told. They went to school down the street and sat is Ms. Jones’ English class, listened to what she had to say (or NOT), and went home. Students were at the mercy of their parents, their teachers, and the educational system. Well, not anymore!

However, with that great expansion of choice comes quite a bit of heartburn for our district partners. They finally have to compete for students (and their funding!). In some sense, when technology wasn’t a factor, schools could do (or not do) whatever they wanted, and students and parents went along.

Edmentum has been involved in helping students be the master of their own learning for a LONG time. I am not going to go into a history lesson, but that is the driving force behind what we do every day! And what we do with the EdOptions Academy is at the forefront of what we do as a company. We practice what we preach! We take the amazing courseware, the systems and supporting technology, the reporting and data, our many years of online teaching best practices, and match that with a top notch staff and amazing faculty to be a true partner to our schools by expanding THEIR educational options for their learners.

The EdOptions Academy has been responsible for helping hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of learners achieve their educational goals, whether taking an AP®* course that they couldn’t get at their school, or retaking a course over the summer through our virtual summer school program, or taking a photography course because there isn’t a photography teacher in the district. The options are many, and the success that we have seen is truly inspiring.

As I watch the growth and change in educational models, I get excited because I know that Edmentum is at the forefront of what is possible and right with learning. Ten or twenty years from now, I will talk with my kids and try to explain to them that “Yes, there was a time you actually HAD to go to a classroom, EVERYDAY!”, and they will simply look at me in disbelief. But what will be great, is that I can say I worked for a company that helped to change all of that! That we helped our districts partners evolve to meet the changing demands of education; That we changed the way students, parents, educators, and society view education! And that is a truly awesome thing.

*Advanced Placement® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved with the production of, and does not endorse, this product.