By Jeff Farden
In the ever-changing landscape of education, countless tools are available to students to help personalize their learning and to provide educators with options to better assist them in their areas of interest. The integration of technology and online content have helped students in not only meeting their academic goals but also by providing opportunities that may not be available within their current school. These tools have increased student options and empowered them with ownership of their educational experience, thereby becoming a vital component to their academic success.
This success is sometime difficult for students to achieve by themselves. Many students find the transition into online learning challenging and can benefit from an adult mentor available. The mentor can help them with questions and to provide support and motivation as needed. The adults supporting these students play a key role in how students embrace online options and can be a pivotal component to their academic success.
Having a local advocate is critical in assist students with course enrollment options, as well as providing the ongoing monitoring and motivation. These staff members, counselors, and/or Idaho Digital Learning Site Coordinators, routinely go above and beyond to ensure students have a sense of self-worth in their coursework. They aid students with hurdles they may encounter and need help overcoming. Having an advocate that students can rely on for motivation, help and accountability during the school day provides students with a positive influence who not only ensures they are held to academic standards but, equally as important, that students are intrinsically motivated to excel.
Idaho Digital Learning Site Coordinators, and others assisting students, often employ creative techniques for connecting with their students. One such motivating technique, used by the ATLAS Site Coordinator Colin Gordon, provides students with recognition of class accomplishments through a “Wall of Fame”. This classroom display contains personalized certificates when students complete a class. This public recognition provides not only acknowledgement of a job well done but also motivates other classmates to have their names included on the wall.
Idaho Digital Learning has found that academic success can often be directly correlated to the level of support students receive during the school day. Idaho Digital Learning is committed not only to supporting Idaho students but to support those staff members who work with and assist students on a daily basis.